private world of the home and personal relationships. He examines courtship and casual sex, marriage and home life. He looks at the world of women, for the most part contained in the private sphere of their terraced houses. We are shown the domestic load on women in houses where husbands, sons and lodgers daily brought home the all- pervasive coal dust, and the debilitating effects of constant childbearing. In constructing this affectionate and sympathetic portrait of life in a mining commu- nity, the author has clearly come up against a problem of sources. He uses newspapers, particularly accounts of court cases, to good effect, the only problem being that such accounts highlight the unusual rather than the everyday. There is a danger too in assum- ing that the activities and attitudes of the 'rougher element' were shared by others. For example, whilst women appearing in court to demand maintenance from the putative and errant fathers of their illegitimate children admit to having sexual intercourse on their first 'date', we cannot assume that other women behaved in such a free and lax manner. With regard to women's experiences, it is unfortunate that he has to rely chiefly on the testimony of autobiographies written by men. We are given the view- point of the embarrassed young miner having to wash himself in the tub before the fire in front of female relatives and neighbours but we do not know how the women felt about this. Clearly what is needed is a greater injection of oral history than the author has included. Conducting oral history interviews is a time-consuming task, but it is an urgent and pressing one if we are to attempt to recover the experiences of women in mining communities. DEIRDRE BEDDOE University of Glamorgan AN ARCHITECTURAL STUDY: THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST. BRECON. By the staff of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monu- ments of Wales. Friends of Brecon Cathedral, Brecon, 1994. Pp. 88, plans and photos. £ 6.00. In the run-up to the nine-hundredth anniversary of the founding of Brecon, the dean and chapter of its cathedral church asked the staff of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales if they would undertake a detailed survey of the fabric of the church and of the domestic buildings within its precinct. Such a work was badly needed. Apart from the short but valuable account by Richard Haslam in the Penguin Buildings of Wales series (Powys, 1979, pp. 283-93), no comprehensive account had appeared since Gwenllian Morgan's 1935 guide, itself heavily dependent on Edward Foord's three cathedrals' guide which had appeared a decade earlier. The Commission staff responded generously as the work under review amply demonstrates. The text is essentially the work of Mr. A. J. Parkinson and Ms. O. M. Jenkins, but they were able to call on the advice and interpretative skills of numerous colleagues with wide experience of the domestic and ecclesiastical architecture of Wales. The text is reinforced with black and white photographs and plans of a quality which one has come