John Roberts was partly Welsh and partly Romany and was very unusual in being more or less literate in the Romany language; he spoke an extraordinarily pure dialect of the language and was able to reproduce a great quantity of ancient lore, such as highly entertaining folktales. He was best known to his Welsh contemporaries as a harpist, and as a young man took part in the romantic revival of interest in the triple harp, with the encouragement of Carnhuanawc and Lady Llanover in the 1830s and '40s. The Roberts family stood apart from Welsh society and remained loyal to the triple harp to the end of the century, when fashions had changed and adopted the pedal harp, the organ, and the pianoforte. With their unconventional marriage patterns, their closeness to nature, their Bohemian semi-nomadic way of life, the Robertses resisted the pressures of Victorian Wales. Yet there was also a hankering after respectability and acceptance in society-Roberts is shown obsessed with collecting testimonials to his own excellence as a harpist-and one assumes that for many Welshmen the acme of the harpist's career was the performance he and his sons gave before Queen Victoria on her visit to Wales in 1889. Roberts was a celebrated and popular character in Wales for much of the nineteenth century. As so often happens in such cases, the wonderful wealth of Romany traditions which he had kept was discovered only at the eleventh hour by students and scholars, for few (if any) of his children and grandchildren had his mastery of Romany speech or lore. The works of John Sampson, Dora Yates, and Francis Hindes Groom are now difficult to obtain, but E. Ernest Roberts's short, readable and pleasing book will rekindle interest in the part played by the Romany in Welsh life in the last century and in particular will act as a memorial to a remarkable man, John Roberts, 'Telynor Cymru'. PRYS MORGAN Swansea DAVID WILLIAMS (1738-1816): AUTHOR, Philosopher, EDUCATIONIST, POLITICIAN AND FOUNDER OF THE ROYAL LITERARY FUND. By H. P. Richards. D. Brown, Cowbridge, 1980. Pp. 48. £ 1.50. The Welsh philosophe, David Williams, no longer languishes in neglect. While Peter France was producing a fine, extensively annotated edition of Williams's autobiography for Sussex University (reviewed ante, vol. 10, no. 4, 1981) Mr. Richards was publishing this short memoir in south Wales. The simultaneous appearance of two works, devoted to the same forgotten figure but conducted in mutual isolation, invites comparison rather to the detriment of Richards's modest brochure. This lacks the academic poise of Peter France's superbly edited volume, which remains the indispensable starting-point for anyone investigating the subject. There are, for example, several errors in Mr. Richards's transcription of French terminology, while Montesquieu is credited with a chef d'oeuvre entitled 'Sprit of Love'! David Williams, who drew so freely on Enlighten- ment sources, really requires a more cosmopolitan historical setting than he is allowed. As a consequence, Richards's survey does too little to