exploitation of different types of country. In this volume, and its com- panions, we have a most valuable guide. We must hope that it will not be long before the authors are free to turn their attention to Wales and to deal with the splendid and varied landscape of the principality. DAVID WALKER Swansea MEDIEVAL RELIGIOUS HOUSES: ENGLAND AND WALES. By David Knowles and R. Neville Hadcock. Second edition, Longman, 1971. Pp. xv, 565, 6 maps. £ 11.00. Western monasticism appeared in the middle ages in ever-increasing waves, varieties and off-shoots, with the new orders attempting either to perfect the demands set down in the Rule of Benedict, or to respond to new needs arising in a changing society. A survey of those orders as they responded to these needs can in itself help us to understand social change. Whereas England absorbed most orders to some extent, this cannot be said of Wales. After the establishment of a first group of monastic houses during the Age of the Saints, an age yet insufficiently explored (when will we see detailed textual and historical studies of the Saints' Lives ?), it was only in the twelfth century that monasticism was again imported into Wales. The economic condition of the country appealed to two types of orders: those interested in agriculture (which accounts for the success of the Cistercians here as elsewhere) and those which stressed particularly ascetic ideals (especially the order of Tiron at St. Dogmael's and its dependencies). Due to a scarcity of urban settlements, the impact of the mendicant orders was only slight. As an excellent reference book, Medieval Religious Houses does not need any introduction. It has been an indispensable tool for any scholar concerned with monastic institutions in England and Wales ever since its first appearance in 1953. The second edition, beautifully produced and with its content doubled, is testimony to the progress which has been made in monastic studies over the past two decades, progress largely due in the last resort to the work of David Knowles himself. A general intro- duction (pp. 1-47) provides a wonderfully concise and at the same time scholarly sketch of monastic development in England. Many entries have been revised and enlarged, and there is a new section on religious houses before 1066 in which Wales figures prominently. (One may question the usefulness of Appendix II, pp. 488-95, tabling the number of inmates.) There are six excellent maps. A brief comment on Wales: the religious houses were never evenly distributed over the country; there was rather one concentration in the marcher lordships and another in the south of Wales, particularly in Pembrokeshire, the hinterland of the cathedral of St. David's. Bishop Bernard at the beginning of the twelfth century and Thomas Bek at the end of the thirteenth did more than any of their colleagues in the founda- tion of monastic houses. Both, as well as other Welsh bishops, would