headmaster) is unlikely to read Professor Ross's book; one hopes his words have not closed the minds of others. Certainly Professor Ross cannot be accused of telling us all about the Wars of the Roses. He has aimed at a mise en point, unencumbered by scholarly apparatus, but deploying a wealth of visual documentation which serves well his purpose of bringing the subject to life. Since-no doubt for obvious economic reasons-these 126 illustrations are all in black and white, they serve the incidental purpose, for those already familiar with the art of the time, of bringing out how decidedly this is a 'painterly' rather than a 'linear' phase of English depiction: without their (often garish) colour patterns, it is easier to see how that mis- conceived metaphor of 'twilight' might batten onto this late-medieval world. In his less than 40,000 words of text Professor Ross has aimed both to anchor the story of civil war in the down-to-earth matters of the human and inhuman matériel of fifteenth-century warfare, and also to cruise over the occasionally troubled sea of interpretative debate as to that warfare's social and political causes and consequences. He has done so in a way which any reader is bound to find stimulating and well worth while. If this reader does not quite always find the treatment convincing, that is probably due to the exigencies of space to which Professor Ross was working; without setting up a false target of 'all the details', one still hankers here and there for a fuller discussion or an explanatory reference, Thus, as it stands (pp. 89, 116) Professor Ross's account of the political process of 1471 seems not altogether to fit the pattern of interplay he finds between gentry and populace: at least with the gentry one may feel that the springs and forms of action will only yield their sense to a more detailed discrimination, and one may feel readier to follow Professor Ross when he speaks of the 'volatile loyalties' of the populace than when he tells us that Henry VII was 'far less popular' than Edward IV-without explaining (how one would like to be able to!) how popularity is to be gauged at this time. One would also like chapter and verse for the statement on p. 146 that 'the ancestors of William, Lord Hastings had been the trusted servants of the House of York for four generations'. One is then greedy for more: questions arise. And perhaps that is one way of saying that, whether or not there is a comparable book on 'Vietnam', Professor Ross has here furnished a convincing rebuttal of slurs cast on his subject's educational value. One's only regret is that he (or his publisher) was not a little more ambitious. D.A.L.MORGAN University College, London. THE GREAT EXPLORERS. THE EUROPEAN DISCOVERY OF AMERICA. By Samuel Eliot Morison. Oxford University Press, New York, 1978. Pp. xxv, 752; 260 maps and illustrations. £ 6.95.