British historian and classicist Mary Beard has been in front of the cameras for less than 10 years, but she has built up a formidable documentary portfolio to go with academic monographs. This is a companion piece to the nine-part BBC series, Civilisations (continuing 1969’s Civilisation presented by Kenneth Clark), of which she is a presenter. In this beautifully illustrated book of two parts, she traces the early history of how artists have pictured the human — How Do We Look — and the divine — Eye of Faith. Beard has become popular because the Cambridge classics professor has a knack of explaining the complex in terms general readers can understand without feeling condescended to. All she asks is that you think. For those who find this book a taster to wider study, an extensive “further reading” section shows how clever Beard has been in condensing centuries of study and appreciation.