But these are exceptional cases, and, in many ways, the book gains from being a study in breadth as well as in depth, for here is much more than a mere analysis of council procedure in Wales. We have a good deal of fascinating material on faction, lively character sketches of Pembroke and Zouch, an amusing glimpse of Queen Elizabeth extracting from the earl of Leicester a promise that he would not propose any additions to the local commission of the peace for two months, and much else to stimulate and refresh. His concluding chapter is excellent and the appendices are valuable. Mr. Williams has shown great skill in setting his institution against the whole social complex of Elizabethan Wales. It is a welcome addition to the work which other modern scholars are trying to do for the different aspects of the Tudor age. At the end of this book two impressions are left on the mind of the reader. The first is the political and social progress in the two generations since Bishop Rowland Lee made his famous observations on the Welsh people. The second is the whole ramshackle character of the Council in the Marches. There it was, without adequate income from London, dependent upon fines for its maintenance and salaries-much of its work was financed out of fines for adultery, but one is not quite sure what conclusions to draw from this-unable to attract first-class staff, torn often by local feuds or professional jealousy, and caught up from time to time in the cross-currents of intrigue in the capital. In theory it was responsible for the thirteen Welsh counties and for four over the border. But, so far as one can tell in a field where the documents are grievously short, its writ did not run very far or very often beyond its headquarters at Ludlow. Yet, as Mr. Williams rightly argues, within the limited sector of its operations it played a useful part in the law and government of its day. This is a well-written, ably argued book which whets the appetite for a comparable volume on the Stuart period. JOEL HURSTFIELD. London. THE GREAT CIVIL WAR. By Lt.-Col. Alfred H. Burne and Lt.-Col. Peter Young, London, 1959. Pp. 258. 36s. NORTH WALES IN THE CIVIL WAR. By Norman Tucker, Denbigh, 1958. Pp. 198. 18s. Each of these books disappoints, but the two colonels, even on the level of story-telling, beat the historical novelist. Their attempt at a purely military history of the first civil war shews considerable skill in dis- entangling the confused contemporary accounts of the fighting. Detailed examination of the actual sites of battles is reinforced by a real flair for what Col. Burne-whose recent death is a sad blow-called 'inherent military probability'. Some of the descriptions of engagements are