The fifty years between 1130 and 1180 produced some of the most original and evocative capitals of the middle ages - a period that was largely responsible for the evolution of the Gothic style. But despite the fact that many are hard to examine in situ and are often too dark to observe closely, they have rarely been published before. These volumes will therefore be widely welcomed. The 7,600 illustrations they contain cover, in large and exquisite detail, nearly every capital; they include the multitude of works in the great cathedrals and abbeys of the time, including Chartres, Laon, Noyon, Paris, Saint-Denis, Senlis and Sens. The staggering range of individual creativity shows a culture able to reinvent itself in a rare and exciting way. The publication of the fourth and fifth volumes in the sequence completes the photographic archive of foliate carving from the Paris Basin during the formative two centuries in which architecture and the techniques of building were transformed. They are also the foundation for subsequent volumes which will establish a chronology for Early Gothic architecture and sculpture, as well as technological developments in rib vaults and construction methods. Dr. John James is a world authority on medieval architecture, and author of over sixty books and articles.