Grateful though one must be to these authors for raising these histories above the usual anecdotage of commemorative studies, anniversaries are, even so, not the occasions for a cool historical appraisal. What Dr. Sanderson has shown is that the history of the University movement in Wales is a rich field of social history. His book should be a challenge to Welsh historians to make a thoroughgoing study of the Welsh univer- sity movement as a whole, the differing developments of the constituent colleges (a fruitful comparative study in itself), and of the continuing controversy about the concept of a national university. If such a study were related to the economic, social and political changes in Wales during the past hundred years (in a way that was impossible for Dr. Sanderson to achieve within the limits of his theme) and to the development of higher education in Great Britain as a whole, this would be a signal contribution to Welsh historiography. J. R. WEBSTER Bangor. THE WELSHPOOL AND LLANFAIR LIGHT RAILWAY. By Ralph Cartwright and R. T. Russell. Newton Abbot, David and Charles, 1972. Pp. 207, 35 illus. £ 2.75. As in the case of other preserved narrow-gauge railways in Wales, much has already been written about the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway. It has, however, been in the form of booklets and articles in railway magazines. Ralph Cartwright and R. T. Russell have produced what is, in effect, a definitive study of this interesting little line. The book outlines in a very lucid manner the various proposals made for railways in the area around Welshpool and Llanfair Caereinion, ranging from the grandiose schemes of Brunei in the 1840s for a railway through the heart of Wales to Porth Dinlleyn to capture the Irish traffic, to the less spectacular local projects to bring railway communication to this remote rural area of Wales. The natural features of the area made railway construction difficult and expensive; the sparse population and rural economy made traffic receipts small and financial viability dubious. It was little wonder, therefore, that the township of Llanfair Caereinion had to wait until the passing of the Light Railway Act in 1896 before it obtained its much talked-about and much planned-for railway line. When the official opening finally arrived in 1903, road competition was already apparent, and although the line proved financially viable until after the Great War, it never achieved the financial success its advocates prophesied. In 1931 its passenger service was withdrawn, and although by a miracle the line remained open to freight until 1956, the break of gauge at Welshpool proved a serious handicap even to this traffic. The survival of the Welshpool and Llanfair railway line to the present time is entirely the result of the hard work of the preservationists. The authors outline in detail the valiant efforts made to save the railway, and the ways in which many setbacks were met. Even the undermining of