Mr. Cornell is my kind of historian, and I follow his excellent online blog, because his outlook is one that I usually share. This small book is full of details, but not great as a style introduction book. I would highly recommend Randy Mosher's book: "Tasting Beer", which I believe is where I first heard of Martyn Cornell. (It may have been Randy's other great book for homebrewer's: Radical Brewing) This book gets much further into what these styles really were or may have been as time passed. It provides a much greater understanding on what these styles really were, and helps you to appreciate those who try to perpetuate some of them. An example of a brewery in New England, where I live, that works at this fairly well is the "Pretty Things Ale Project". They're not always a hit, but often provide some interesting contemplation. What is missing here in southern New England, as far as I'm aware, is the ability to taste some of these styles naturally - i.e. cask conditioned. This book is great for details and for its research, but it isn't the kind of book that is florid. It is laid out well and sometimes bears re-reading once certain parts of history from style to style overlap, but it doesn't seem overly complicated. Nor does it read like poetry. Sometimes I really appreciate this as a reader, where the imagination of the writer can improve the absorption of the topic. I find his writing style interesting enough on these topics, especially when contemplated with a beer that is as close as possible to the style being read about. Cheers!