Ardal Powell is just the person to write such an important work as this: he is a flute maker, performer and scholar and his enthusiasm for his subject comes over in what would otherwise be a book solely for academics. Powell has written the history of the flute in his own style. I like the way links are drawn between the developments made in the instrument to those of the music and also the relationships between the various composers of the day. There are plenty of illustrations and photographs as well as tables, charts and lists. Most importantly this is a very readable book and well-priced too.
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).