this book from subscribing to the old-fashioned belief in Bede's scholarly infallibility as an historian. Bede has told us that the Welsh made no contribution to the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons and Bede apparently knew best, regardless of the fact that he knew little or nothing about events in the Severn valley or that, as recent studies have shown, he could be quite misleading and plainly ignorant of matters relating to Northern Britain and nearer to his own home. The truth is, we cannot accept anything Bede tells us about the Welsh without seeking corroboration from other sources, because while he was willing to tolerate Irishmen-even those who had gone liturgically astray-he was blatantly prejudiced against most things Welsh. Historians of early medieval Wales will be disappointed with the lack of attention which is devoted to neighbouring Welsh kingdoms in this study of two early English territories bordering on Wales. Sims-Williams is somewhat confused about the role of the Welsh. While he follows Bede in rejecting the notion of Welsh bishops having preached to their English neighbours 'in a concerted manner', he opts for a compromise suggestion-and it can be nothing more than a suggestion-that the English of the Severn valley were converted early in the seventh century from within, by those conquered Welsh people who had remained on after the conquest. He cites as a parallel the conversion of the English Danelaw in the late ninth and tenth centuries. The situations are not remotely comparable. A crucial factor in the conversion of the Danelaw must have been the survival of the Anglo-Saxon Christian priesthood, still organized under an episcopacy-not least under the archbishops of York who enjoyed Danish protection and patronage. The southern Danelaw began life with the formal conversion of Guthrum and all that that implied for the conversion of his followers and the survival of an organized English church within his kingdom. Eddius's Life of Wilfred and other evidence suggest that the organized British church and its estates and buildings were dismantled or destroyed not merely by the pagan English, but also by later rapacious and ambitious English Christian kings and churchmen alike. So Bede may have been correct in his assessment of the influence of the Welsh church on the conversion of the English, but the reasons which he offers for this phenomenon may have been quite wrong and we cannot generalize about relations between two peoples who shared a frontier extending across Britain from the Firth of Forth to Exeter. This book does indeed have redeeming features. Excellent chapters on Biblical Study, Letter Writing, The Monk of Wenlock's Vision, and on Milred, Cuthbert and Anglo-Latin poetry show the author and his Cambridge school of Anglo-Latin scholarship at their best. The treatment of Milred, bishop of Worcester-of his far- flung contacts and his literary circle-brings a great deal of scholarly research together and adds significantly to our knowledge of the writing and transmission of Anglo-Latin poetry in the eighth century. The author is aware, however, that neither the Hwicce nor Magonsaetan enjoyed a distinct literary culture, and Anglo-Latin literature in particular could never have lent itself easily to regional development at such microcosmic levels as are studied in this book. In other words, the author could not and does not atempt to study writers and scholars such as Milred in isolation