There could never have been a greater need for a comprehensive history of the arts in Britain than there is now. Sir Roy Strong's brilliantly cohesive, passionate and timely chronicling of the movements which have shaped all that is best in British art and culture serves to remind us that we have a heritage to be proud of and to preserve in all its richness, diversity and splendour. In his widely acclaimed book, "The Story of Britain" (which sold over 37,000 in Pimlico), Roy Strong wrote eloquently of Britain's history. But that was only part of the story, and so in this volume he deals with another aspect, the growth and development of the country's arts: literature, music, poetry, painting, architecture, theatre, and all the related subjects which give British intellectual and creative life its unique character. It proves to be an enthralling and inspiring story in the telling of which Sir Roy blows away much accumulated myth, allowing the excitement of cultural discovery and development from the Celts to the present day to be shared and understood by modern readers.;And instead of compartmentalising the arts he treats them as a single unfolding narrative, thus highlighting the driving political, social, economic and philosophic forces behind them. Into this vivid panorama, he inserts cameos of people whose taste and influence reached far beyond their individual lives, from Cardinal Wolsey in Tudor times to Kenneth Clark in the twentieth century. And throughout the book, Sir Roy emphasises what sets the island of Britain apart as well as what unites it to the mainland of Europe. The book is generously illustrated with pictures chosen by the author to complement and expand the text. They dazzle and enlighten, adding much to the overall impact. This is a book for everyone, a celebration of Britain's creativity past and present, in which each page glows with the author's passion for his great subject.