This informative book looks not only at the medieval world in which heraldry thrived, but also at its language, the elaborate system of coded messages it conveyed, and its inextricable link with chivalry. Featuring more than 700 illustrations, it also covers both the larger aspects of heraldry and everyday heraldic uses, and contains a comprehensive glossary. The international uses of heraldry and the way different countries have interpreted it are also included. Most of Europe and the Americas are covered as well as Scandinavia, Africa and Japan. Novices and experts alike will benefit from the breadth of the content of this masterly history.