little on Marxist theory and are the outcome of careful empirical research. The real value of the introductory chapter is in indicating how much historians have learned about nineteenth-century crime and protest: for example, that the concept of a criminal class is largely myth, that the criminal population aged in the course of Victoria's reign and that the nature and incidence of offending evolved substantially during the nineteenth century. Perhaps even more important, the essay points out how much remains to be researched. If the chapter has a fault it is that it seeks to summarize and synthesize too much; the result may be that the non-specialist emerges somewhat shell-shocked. Other chapters also suffer from over-inclusiveness. That on the Victorian poacher, for example (reprinted from the Historical Journal, 1979), tackles the extent of poaching, the identities of its practitioners and their motivation, its place in nineteenth-century society, poaching techniques and poachers' haunts. All this in twenty-two pages of exposition. The outcome is less than satisfactory; because of the breadth of his canvas, Dr. Jones is forced to a level of generalization which lacks conviction. Here and elsewhere legislation is glossed over with little explanation. Indeed, the legal and political framework is noticeably absent throughout the volume. The two chapters on crime and police in London and Manchester commence as examinations of statistical trends in criminal activity. The London study is particularly interesting since it is based upon hitherto largely neglected data, the Metropolitan Police Criminal Returns. In both cases other issues, such as legal administration, sentencing policy and legislation, are raised but accorded rather inadequate con- sideration. The author gives the purpose of the Manchester case study as: 'to examine some of the questions raised about the extent, character and roots of its crime, the nature of the offenders, and the developments in policing, punishment and control' (p. 146). Not surprisingly, the outcome constitutes something of a rag-bag of a chapter. Indeed, given the essay-type approach of the book, several chapters would have profited from a stronger focus and greater thematic unity. The underlying theme of this book, brought out by all the essays, is of the lawlessness of early and mid-nineteenth-century society gradually succumbing, by a variety of means, to control by the forces of respectability. This process, in an urban setting, has long been appreciated by many historians. But Dr. Jones argues that mid-nineteenth-century rural society was not as acquiescent and deferential as some would have us believe. He seeks to demonstrate that rural crime and protest, which he sees as closely linked phenomena, if not one and the same thing, were more prevalent and durable than is often acknowledged. The point is well made and taken, but beyond this it is impossible to quantify the extent to which vagrancy, poaching and even arson, however widespread (and determining incidence is problematic), can be considered forms of social protest. It would be a mistake to conclude that class warfare was alive and well and raging in the Victorian countryside. PETER BARTRIP Wolfson College, Oxford