always on the periphery of north Wales society. In another sense, however, they absorbed the culture of the host society (in Wales as in Hungary), becoming great harpers, fiddlers and entertainers, and sometimes genteel harpists in Victoria's reign. Before their discovery by Sampson they were indeed mainly known as musicians, and much of the Welsh music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries survived amongst the Gypsies when it was rejected or forgotten by a Welsh culture intent upon religion, politics and respectability. This careful and studious book does not try to play on the sentimental memories of Gypsies that we have all inherited from childhood books. But many of the Wood clan were in themselves romantic and fascinating people, and there are some excellent photographs of some of them here, and the Romany cannot fail to appeal to the imagination as persons, informants and as a sociological phenomenon. This book has the added advantage of having been written 'from the inside', since Eldra Jarman is a descendant of Abram Wood, and it is one of the most interesting and unusual history books to be written in Welsh for some years. It is a pity that the present Romany language movement, the Romani Chib which is the subject of Grattan Puxon's article in Planet, has come too late for the clan of Abram Wood. PRYS MORGAN Swansea. BEFORE THE WELFARE STATE. SOCIAL ADMINISTRATION IN EARLY INDUSTRIAL BRITAIN. By Ursula R. Q. Henriques. Longman, London, 1979. Pp. 294. £ 8.50. Discerning readers of the journals over the years have learned to treasure Ursula Henriques's talent for illuminating dark corners in the history of early-nineteenth-century social administration. Her dissection of the career of James Stuart of Dunearm provided a valuable corrective for those tempted to think that Leonard Horner was typical of the early factory inspectorate, and her examination of the hitherto neglected bastardy clauses of the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 was a model of that serious research into the history of early-Victorian womenfolk that has been so much neglected by recent writers interested in the history of one half of the human race, as William Thompson called them. Now Miss Henriques has sought to synthesise a great deal of scattered, detailed work, including much in unpublished postgraduate theses, in five major fields of administration in early industrial Britain: the poor law, public health, prison administration, factory regulation and elemen- tary education. In a series which has so far proved of uneven value to students, partly because authors have been asked to cover themes over such extended periods of time that the treatment has been inevitably somewhat superficial, Ursula Henriques's book benefits from concentra- tion on a relatively limited time-span-basically the first half of the nineteenth century-and from detailed handling of a limited number of topics. Her basic theme traces the manner in which accumulating or novel social problems which had hitherto been dealt with, if at all, by