Padarn, to herring. fishing; a section is devoted to reminiscences, often enthralling, from the 1840s to the 1940s. There are notes, letters and news of coming events in the maritime studies world. One note records the rediscovery of the Portmadog brig, Fleetwing, launched in 1874 and now used as an oil drum dump in the Falkland Islands. The last survivor of the great days of ship building at Porthmadog is surely worth preserving from such ignominy and it is hoped to launch an appeal to save her. Finally, there are the usual admirable illustrations from collections of photographs held by the Gwynedd Archives Service. Lewis Lloyd's informative article on the ports and shipping of Cardigan Bay is, necessarily, fragmentary and incomplete. It illustrates afresh how much work needs to be done on the appropriate port books and shipping registers. The spirit of emulation should stir south Wales readers, rather than the righteous indignation Dr. Lloyd apprehends. The bias of this excellent journal is, naturally perhaps, still towards north Wales. It would make for greater balance to have more contributions from and on south Wales, by historians with an intimate knowledge of their locality, so that the journal could more truly reflect its title. P. K. CRIMMIN Royal Holloway College, London By THE SWEAT OF THEIR BROW: WOMEN WORKERS AT VICTORIAN COALMINES. By Angela V. John. Croom Helm, 1979. Pp. 245. £ 11.95. In 1880, at the start of the decade in which the cultural lineaments of twentieth-century Britain can first be seen plain, a male letter-writer from south Wales asked: 'Who that has not seen it could even in his wildest dream have imagined women (and those dapper Welsh women too), the very handiwork of nature, designed for mothers in the incongruous position of a beast of burthen hauling about huge trucks of coal?' By the middle of that decade the number of women colliery workers had diminished by 3,000, just under half the total in the 1870s; in south Wales women workers at coal and ironstone mines had declined from 1,603 in 1874 to 732 in 1890. Mechanisation in the new century gradually lessened female work opportunities at pits so that by 1953 there were only 956 women left, two-thirds of them in their traditional stronghold, west Lancashire. The days of the south Wales tip girls, of the Scottish pit-head women, the Cumberland screen lasses, the Staffordshire pit-bank women and the Lancashire pit-brow women, finally ended in 1972, but the 1880 correspondent would have breathed easier for years before that. That widespread social and sexual disquiet which he voiced did not succeed in legislating against pit-brow women in the 1880s, or later, but they were squeezed between the millstones of late- nineteenth-century attitudes towards families and women, towards work and class and sex.