The Oxford Guide to Heraldry

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1988 - History - 233 pages
2 Reviews
Heraldry is many things: a fascinating and colourful art with special rules and methods; a system of symbols denoting prominent families and institutions; a display of pageantry; and an invaluable aid to historians. And, quite apart from its relevance to genealogical and historical studies, even an slight knowledge of heraldry can make all the difference in tracing family histories, and in looking at old houses, churches, and monuments. This lavishly illustrated guide to the history and significance of heraldic symbols is the first to have been written by Officers of Arms with full access to the records and manuscript collection of the College of Arms, the heraldic authority for the UK. It is both an excellent and informative introduction to the fascinating subject of heraldry, and and authoritative up-to-date record for experts. Subjects covered in this comprehensive book include the origins of heraldry, the composition and appearance of arms, how and why they were, and still are, granted, their evolution as families grow and intermarry, and their use as decoration. While most attention is paid to Britain, there are also separate chapters on American and European heraldry, the latter covering France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Russia, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, and the Netherlands. The book is illustrated with coats of arms and heraldic devices drawn from manuscripts in the College of Arms Library, the most important collection of heraldic manuscripts in the world.

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Review: The Oxford Guide to Heraldry

User Review  - Michael K. - Goodreads

An excellent introduction to the field by the Somerset Herald. Chapters cover the origins and evolution of the herald's art, the marshalling of arms, the technical aspects of blazoning, and even the ... Read full review

Review: The Oxford Guide to Heraldry

User Review  - Shayne - Goodreads

Comprehensive, or so it seems to me. Of note, there is a great glossary at the back that lists all the terms used in the book – don't be like me and miss it, then flounder through the text with Google searches the whole way through. Read full review

About the author (1988)

Thomas Woodcock qualified as a barrister and is Somerset Herald. He was joint editor with the Chester Herald of the Dictionary of British Arms Medieval Ordinary Volume I and Volume II John Martin Robinson is Maltravers Herald Extraordinary. He is the author of The Wyatts, Royal Residences, Georgian Model Farms, The Latest Country Houses, The Architecture of Northern England, Cardinal Consalvi, and The National Trust Book of the English Country Estate.

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