A coat of arms contains many elements including shield, tinctures, charges, helm, crest, wreath, and motto scroll. With these symbols, leading families and monarchs were distinguished. This new title complements Friar's earlier work, "A Dictionary of Heraldry" Harmony, 1987. Friar is a heraldic consultant, founder of the Society of Heraldic Arts, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Ferguson is a graduate of the Royal College of Art and a heraldic illustrator This introduction to heraldry describes its beginnings in ancient times and its history from the age of chivalry to the modern period. Crusader's pennons and banners, helms and seals of conquerers, livery collars, and the development of the Union Jack are among the dozens of drawings offered in this well-illustrated volume. Degrees of British peerage duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron are briefly explained and accompanied by artistic renderings of the coronet and coronation robes. The section titled "Orders of Chivalry" discusses the Order of the Garter, the Order of Bath, and others. Notes on civic, corporate, and ecclesiastical heraldry complete the history. Following are details and illustrations of the principal elements of a coat of arms. A brief list of suggested reading, addresses of heraldry societies, and an index complete the work Emphasizing color illustrations and reproductions of works of art in a handbook approach, Neubecker's "Guide to Heraldry" McGraw-Hill, 1979 does not systematically trace the roots of heraldry as does "Basic Heraldry". The historical perspective and attractive illustrations make "Basic Heraldry" a useful addition to libraries, though public libraries may want to put it in the circulating collection.