repented. It was an eventful life, with parts of it, at least, well documented from the reports of English commanders in the north and agents in Scotland, and from Margaret's own letters to her brother, who on the whole preferred Angus as the instrument of English interests in Scotland. Professor Buchanan has not written a work of original scholarship. Her sources are accessible and in print. There are no footnotes. Confidence is shaken at the start by the information that Margaret Beaufort married Owen Tudor, and by a travesty of the Wars of the Roses. There is a good deal of imaginative reconstruction of what Margaret must have thought, on her wedding night, for instance, or when she met her sister Mary, Queen of France, and her sister-in-law, Queen Katherine, in London. (They talked, Professor Buchanan conjectures, about child-rearing.) The book provides a readable guide through intricate Scottish politics. Margaret's personality remains elusive. It is impossible to tell whether she cared about her children, or about peace between England and Scotland; she seems to have had no qualms about backing the French party in Scotland to get her divorce, but then she had no reason to be grateful to Henry VIII. She seems somewhat querulous, and concerned primarily with getting the wherewithal to maintain her regal state. In her last years she took to religion. This is a superficial if pleasant study. Whether more could be done by the sort of 'in-depth' study of expenditure and patronage which is beginning to flesh out our knowledge of certain English great ladies (Lady Margaret Beaufort, for instance), remains to be seen. C. S. L. DAVIES Wadham College, Oxford WOMEN IN ENGLISH SOCIETY, 1500-1800. Edited by Mary Prior. Methuen, London, 1985. Pp. xvi, 294. £ 14.95 hardback; £ 7.95 paperback. Two important strands of historiographical development are entwined in this collection of essays. One of them is the growing interest in the place of women in the past, the growing awareness of the need to establish the experiences of that half of the human race which has, in so many respect, been 'hidden from history'. The second is a much broader attempt to reconstruct aspects of early modern English social history, and to cast new light on the world, both material and mental, in which English men and English women alike lived. The editor's earlier work on the Oxford community of Fisher's Row has constituted a most useful contribution to this latter strand, and now she and her collaborators have provided an important contribution to the former. As might be expected, the individual topics covered by the essays collected here vary enormously. Dorothy McLaren writes on marital fertility and lactation between 1570 and 1720, and demonstrates how the relationship between lactation and amenorrhoea helped the non-elite to limit their families. Barbara J. Todd reconsiders the stereotype of the remarrying widow. Mary Prior herself offers two essays, one