responsibilities as the steward of the community's interests which is discussed by Norman Reid. Lest we be too readily carried away by such rhetoric and lest we surrender too uncritically to an emphasis on the triumphalist inevitability of the Scottish monarchy, Bruce Webster pours a very timely and welcome bucket of cold water over such assumptions in an invigorating essay on Scotland 'without a king 1329-41'. Kingship was certainly central to the making of the unity of medieval Scotland; that is why Geoffrey Barrow so rightly twinned the two concepts-kingship and unity-in the title of his volume on the history of the country, 1000- 1306. But it was a kingship which was far less dominant in the power structure of the country as a whole than was its counterpart in England, and it was also a kingship which relied on effective co- operation with other power-groups in the community. It is therefore particularly welcome that this volume should contain essays on these other power-groups (all of which have also received Geoffrey Barrow's attention over the years). Donald Watt examines the way in which provincial councils helped to co-ordinate ecclesiastical policy across a Scottish church denied the opportunity to have its own metropolitan see. It is a powerful reminder to us of how important the ecclesia Scoticana was in the making of Scottish identity. The church was an old force in Scottish society; burhs were a new but also an excitingly important one. Given Barrow's own interest in burhs, it is appropriate that his volume should include an essay by Elizabeth Ewan on the crafts of thirteenth-century Aberdeen, drawing particularly on archaeological and surname evidence. Finally, some of the most pregnant developments in recent Scottish medieval historiography are represented by two essays on aristocratic power: a particularly fine and nuanced essay by Keith Stringer on Alan son of Roland, Lord of Galloway and Constable of Scotland (the twinning of the titles is in itself an indication of the straddling of two worlds, geographically and chronologically) and Alan Young's study of the earls and earldoms of Buchan which makes an important contribution to the analysis of aristocratic lordship in thirteenth-century Scotland and to our understanding of the powerful nexus of family links which gave the Comyns such a strong base in northern Scottish society. Several of the essays make greater demands on the reader than others; several could have been made more approachable with diagrams and maps. But they are all scholarly and rewarding. Reading, and re-reading, them prompts three closing thoughts. First, in the understanding of Scottish medieval society and institutions, including the institutions of political power, the advantages of adopting a long time perspective seem more than ever evident and evidently rewarding. Secondly, central as has been the monarchy in shaping the unity of Scotland, it is imperative in a country where the power of monarchy was so relatively loose-limbed and aristocratic and regional power- structures so resilient, that its historiography does not become too kingship- dominated. Finally, reading these essays as an outsider to Scotland and Scottish historiography, I am struck by how much they have to offer to such outsiders. Geoffrey Barrow once warned against the dangers of subjects such as Scottish and Welsh history becoming in-grown. It in no way compromises the Scottishness of Scottish history for it to lay out its wares in a way that will catch the eye of a wider