This entry in the Spotlights series consists of two-page spreads that focus on one topic, with a paragraph or two of introduction, a large full-color picture with several captions, an inset, and a row of artifacts at the bottom. Topics covered include knights, castles, peasants, exploration, home life, monks, art, and more. As an introduction to the subject this is quick and entertaining, although the lack of a reading list limits its usefulness as a jumping-off point to further research. The brevity of the information may frustrate readers; under ""Towns and Crafts,"" the author says ""houses were built so that each story was wider than the one below,"" but doesn't say why. The sections dealing with food and agriculture will confuse those unaccustomed to the British use of the word ""corn"" to refer to any cereal crop. This is a passable starting point, but other volumes cover the subject more thoroughly and precisely.