It is truly a feat that prominent Turner scholar Hamilton (Turner: A Life) continues to find something new and intellectually stimulating in the works and to transmit his enthusiasm to the reader, as he does in these two new volumes. Britain in the late 18th century was a country of enormous changes-economic, social, and cultural. As J.M.W. Turner moved about the country, from northern Scotland to Land's End, seeking patronage and publishers, he also compiled a visual record of great beauty and historical importance. In Turner's Britain, Hamilton focuses on the relationship of the artist and the countryside he so loved: a patriotism and affection that can be felt in every view of the rural markets and lonely landscapes, bustling cities and ancient castles. Published to accompany an exhibition at the Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery (Nov. 2003-Feb. 2004), the book contains a previously unpublished series of vignettes painted in 1820 as well as a wealth of excellent reproductions of Turner's images and impressions (95 in color, 15 b&w). An excellent time line provides the historical context, and Hamilton's splendid style is both scholarly and elegant. The reader is afforded a look at Britain through the eyes of a singular genius. With Turner: The Late Seascapes, a publication accompanying an international traveling exhibition (2003-04), Hamilton again writes on one aspect of the artist's work and, with his usual skillful hand and superb eye, provides rich new insight into these powerfully moving works. With its 70 color and 21 black-and-white illustrations, the book examines the influence of the 17th-century Dutch painters upon the artist as well as his frequent habit of pairing works. Turner's interest in the newly developed field of photography and optics, his endless fascination with the sea, and the possible sources for the "Whaling" series are all given intense scrutiny. Both books are recommended for all art libraries and large public collections as well as those serving historic and cultural interests.-Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art Lib., New York Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.