The book is divided into several sections. The first 60 pages is the biography of J.M.W. Turner with a scholarly description of his art and his philosophy of art ("Theory of Poetic Painting"). The next 180 pages are full page reproductions of his most famous or most representative works with a facing page detailing the important points of that particular work. The author has done an outstanding job dove-tailing the introductory section with this section. The final few pages include comments from Turner's critics (admirers) -- Thomas Hardy, William Hazlitt, John Ruskin, Henry James, Claude Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Matisse, and many others (including Wyndham Lewis, a real scoundrel); a selected (but comprehensive) bibliography; and, a chronology of Turner's life.
I highly recommend this to novices in art history, but even scholars will enjoy having his on their bookshelves to share with others. I was quite impressed, and I've collected many coffee-table art books over the years. This is one of the better such works, providing a scholarly overview without becoming too pedantic.