I first got this book from my library years ago when it was out of print. It was love at first sight, but you couldn't buy the book. I lost the bidding war on Ebay several times. I'd have the highest bid and be continuously hitting refresh. Then someone would outbid me a nanosecond before the auction closed. I finally found a copy on half.com and paid $55 or so for it. Of course, now you can buy it new for $29.95 at Amazon. And if you don't already own it, I recommend you do just that. It's one of the best knitting books I've ever seen.
Susanna Lewis reverse-engineered the lace patterns from a sampler in the Brooklyn Museum. Each of the 92 lace patterns has both a chart and written instructions and a clear notation of the stitch and row counts for repeats. The book also includes sections on creating your own lace charts, using lace in designs, and the techniques needed for lace knitting.
I taught myself to knit lace from this book by knitting samplers of a lot of the patterns, though not in one 15 foot long piece like the sampler in the book. I did four samplers around 5 or 6 feet long.
I didn't knit every one of the 92 patterns, but I did a lot of them. At the time I was designing a set of lace placemats as a wedding present for a friend, so my choice was somewhat driven by patterns I thought might work well in placemats. Other patterns got knit just because I liked them.