The concept of a spiritual being, greater than man but less than God (or the gods), is an ancient one, and it persists even today, at least in a symbolic form. Miss Ward's purpose in this book is to trace the origins and development of this being, the ""angel."" She begins with the writings of the ancient Hebrews, which speak of Abraham's angelic visitors; and works her way to modern times, where angels visit not in a flutter of wings but in the lithographs of Chagall, in the frescoes of Jacob Epstein, and in the woodcuts of Mauritz Escher. Particularly rich in interest is the chapter on ""Good and Evil in the Middle Ages,"" a period during which angels were not only the messengers of Good and Evil, but their very embodiment, and usually visible even to the casual observer. Miss Ward's approach is popular rather than scholarly, literary rather than critical, but she manages to capture the spirit, as it were, of her subject, and to convey it gently, though not without some irony, to the reader.