Thank you Yves and Debra for your kind compliments and helpful suggestions...
I will indeed order Kaplan's volumes from the library first, I think... useful to hear that vol 2 might be a good place to start. Have found a used copy of the little Art of Tarot book for £2 so, thanks!
Yves - your Marseilles site is fantastic, and thank you for the link to the Museum zu Allerheiligen - it sounds an amazing place, and I shall think about ordering that book too.
Debra - you're probably right about the web being the best encyclopaedia, I just enjoy leaving through a hefty tome so much more than sitting in front of a screen!
That said, I'm looking forward to hanging out here - something about the design and colours of this forum makes it much more conducive to typing longer and feeling restful.. It must be the lack of purple