political context and makes them part of Britain's evolution as a declining empire and a developing democracy-or technocracy?-this is extremely valuable. Of course, one may quarrel with any one of Professor Medlicott's assessments of the events of these years. Of course, his frames of reference have about them no finality. He would be the last to claim that for them. What matters is that the recent past is brought into relation with what has gone before and can be seen as something more than a sequence of arbitrary happenings. H. G. NICHOLAS New College, Oxford THE COURSE OF IRISH HISTORY. Edited by T. W. Moody and F. X. Martin. Mercier Press, Cork, 1967. Pp. 404. 21s. This fine paperback, well printed, with many excellent illustrations and maps, a nineteen-page bibliography, chronology and a good index, is excellent value as an introduction to the history of Ireland, especially as, for the most part, the text lives up to the format. The body of the book consists of twenty-one television lectures given by a distinguished panel of historians. Unlike many such series, the lectures dovetail together very well and maintain much the same level which is that of the educated layman, sixth former, or university undergraduate. Together they make up not only the most attractive one-volume history of Ireland we have yet seen but probably the most useful. J. H. Andrews grounds Irish history firmly in its geography; G. F. Mitchell sketches the main features of prehistoric settlement; Francis J. Byrne characterizes effectively early Irish society; the Rev. T. OFiaich demonstrates the early impact of Christianity; Kathleen Hughes shows how Christian piety and art dominated Ireland in the seventh and eighth centuries; Liam de Paor tells how the Viking wars disrupted and stimulated Ireland, creating its first cities. The Rev. F. X. Martin, on the Anglo- Normans, shows how and why they were better conquerors than their Viking forefathers. J. F. Lydon gives a picture of the medieval English colony as it passed its peak in the fourteenth century; Art Cosgrove makes clear how the Gaelic resurgence came about and was accompanied by the rise of the great autonomous Geraldine magnates on the feudal side. G. A. Hayes-McCoy shows why and how Tudor England reconquered Ireland; Aiden Clarke how colonies strengthened English power but did not destroy the Irish capacity to rebel, so that Cromwellian re-conquest led on to Restoration and the domination of an English ascendancy, though, as J. G. Simms shows, not without the further disruption of the Jacobitic war. The Irish majority, unable to rebel for a century, was thus