Pageant of Italy, James Reynolds' Ireland, Baroque Splendour- these are titles that indicate the style and the market of this most recent historical and artistic survey of the lands that are strictly British and which seeks to characterize Britain as an accumulation of the past. District by district, Reynolds' discursive essays roam England, Wales, Scotland and North Ireland. Approach, legend and architecture have deepest meanings for Reynolds as he writes. His passages are marked by riotous or muted colors of season or setting as he comes and draws the reader with him to Cornwall or Sussex or Antrim, as he describes the houses of shy villages and the aggressive castles of the men who formed the land or as he basks again in the Arthurian legend or the deeds of Boadicea. Craft and personality and nature as it moulded these are the bed rock here from which Sovereign Britain springs full blown.