This volume represents a small part of the book Sir Charles Pasley wrote in 1838 which detailed his own experiments in the development of artificial cement for military uses. Whilst much of the first part of Pasley's work is of limited use to those involved with the care of historic buildings today, the section that Donhead has chosen to reprint provides a fascinating insight into the developments using lime during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Michael Wingate's excellent introduction to this edition offers a helpful present day perspective of the work undertaken on lime in that period, and shows how relevant such research is to conservation practitioners and others currently specifying or directly working with lime. Pasley has summarized and explained the work and experiments of the most important authors of the period including Smeaton (1791), Parker (1796), Vicat (1818 and 1828), Treussart (1829), and Godwin (1836). Pasley's text reveals the contrast between those, like Dr Higgins, who set out to achieve exceptional performance from the simplest of limes, and others such as John Smeaton, who understood how strength for the toughest conditions could be achieved from impure limes.