Robert Wollaston's concise yet comprehensive account of the Roman baths across Britain and continental Europe stands as a fine and thorough description of the ancient thermae. Many of the Roman thermae were unearthed as archaeology became a formal and professional trade from the 17th century onwards. Owing to the sheer passage of time, the baths revealed by excavation work varied widely in their condition. Some, such as the world famous thermae of Bath in southwest England were in superb condition and refurbished for purposes of tourism. Others however survived only in partial, or even fractional form. Although part of Wollaston's account has been outdated by new excavations and findings, his understanding of how baths worked is excellent. Clear explanations of the various rooms, the use of pressure and steam, and the tools and habits the Romans had when bathing populate this book. The author effectively applies his knowledge to each of the discovered baths; the reader thus gains a good impression of structural variations and technology that comprised the thermae. Robert Wollaston (1801-1865) was an enthusiast of antiquity who specialized in Roman architecture, engineering and mosaics. Born in British India, he would spend part of his adult life in Italy, studying ancient ruins. Professionally he worked as a surgeon, and was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons.