the latter history of the novel; but then, it was always his business as a writer to get ahead of himself (p. 187). Though other writers cannot rival Rogers's wit (the piece on the decorative arts is no better than 'solid'), the chapters on the visual arts and architecture also succeed in treating their subjects with range and individuality. The sponsored spaces for personality are more variable. Raymond O'Malley's chapter on folk-song, for instance, while written with passion, is an extended tribute to Cecil Sharp as the saviour of English folk-song. English, maybe, but one thinks of Burns's indefatigable work on The Scots Musical Museum, of George Thomson's Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs, of Allan Ramsey and of Percy's Reliques, and wonders why O'Malley says so little that is relevant to the volume's chronology. T. J. Edelstein's piece on Vauxhall Gardens struggles hard but not entirely convincingly to make them politically significant through their iconography. The volume's most significant omission is a chapter on theatre, even though the literature and music sections have something to say on the subject. Theatre might strike us as the crucible of Augustan artistic endeavour; The Beggar's Opera, for instance, is mentioned by so many of the contributors that a short section on it would have provided an excellent opportunity to study the various art-forms in mutual collaboration. BREAN S. HAMMOND Aberystwyth THE LETTER BOOK OF RICHARD Crawshay, 1788-1797. Calendared by C. Evans with an introduction by G. G. L. Hayes. South Wales Record Society, Cardiff, 1990. Pp. xxv, 200. £ 18.00. Richard Crawshay was one of the leading industrialists of the Industrial Revolution and, early in the nineteenth century, was possibly the largest producer of iron in Britain, and therefore the world. His business letters are potentially of enormous interest to historians and particularly to those interested in business history, the iron trade, the history of technology and the history of South Wales. The sole surviving Letter Book, which runs from the beginning of 1788 to the end of 1797, falls neatly into two parts. The first is largely concerned with ongoing commercial and financial difficulties and with Crawshay's attempts to exercise quality control over the works at Cyfarthfa from his London base and includes the unfolding of the slow and difficult struggle to edge the new Cort puddling process towards technical viability-an end which was only, though rapidly, achieved when Crawshay himself moved to Merthyr Tydfil. In the second, with Crawshay on the spot, the focus shifts towards his roles among the country gentry, both as a promoter of transport facilities and as a magistrate, and reveals his increasing propensity as an iron master of national repute to communicate ideas to leading political figures (such as Pitt and Wilberforce) on the issues of the day. This publication, which brings the letters to a much wider audience, Is to be applauded.