afflicted in recent years by a surfeit of works, meticulously researched and argued, but which ideologise or structuralise the humanity out of history. Reactions to the French Revolution reveals an author in revolt against recent, particularly Marxist, historiographical trends. It will alienate those who look for patterns of development, for evolutionary processes, for schematic history. It is occasionally brilliant, invariably well-written, often irritating, the kind of book it is impossible to forget that one has read, and history has need of them. GWYNNE LEWIS Warwick. RELIGION AND SOCIETY IN ENGLAND, 1790-1850. By W. R. Ward. Batsford, 1972. Pp. 309. £ 4.00. In a way this is a remarkable book. Professor Ward follows the path of an already familiar story; the reaction of the British churches (in their widest interpretation as the Established Church, Methodism, and all of Protestant Dissent) to the social and political changes of the period of the Industrial Revolution. But the path he follows is not the beaten track of central organisations, of the struggles of leading representatives of churches and church parties for emancipating legislation, of central attacks on the establishment, nor even central initiatives for reform. Rather he seeks to explain by wandering in the by-paths among the grass roots. He describes the attempts of conservative church leaders (in all churches) to establish denominational control over undenominational Sunday schools. He recounts dissensions in obscure religious congregations between conservative and authoritarian middle-class preachers and their radical and working class rank and file. He analyses the social and political divisions which rent Methodism into sects. He seeks to explain the battle between Tory farmers and Tory parsons over tithes which weakened the Established Church and the controversies within dissent which weakened its attack upon the Established Church. Professor Ward has brought to this operation a formidable accumula- tion of knowledge collected from memoirs, pamphlets, religious and political journals, church and Sunday school records, and the correspondence of contemporary politicians and preachers. It ought to be an illuminating and fascinating study. Unfortunately, the book lacks the consistency of arrangement and lucidity of style essential for the explanation and clarification of such complex events. The story is often told by means of anecdotes which seem somewhat tenuously connected with the themes they are meant to convey. Extensive quotations, unexplained, add to the obscurity. Chapter titles seem to bear little relation to chapter contents. Such terms as 'evangelical' which cross sectarian boundaries and yet designate most important and influential religious movements, are frequently used without definition or explanation. Within a few pages, the reader, helplessly floundering in allusive remarks and elusive meanings, is asking himself what it is all about. On closing the book he is tempted to say that industry, erudition and originality are among the greatest of historical virtues, but the greatest of all is clarity. Cardiff. URSULA HENRIQUES Cardiff.