by the 1890s, would seem to have been due to the loss of ideological and moral authority at some point before mid-century. This could be attributed primarily to the shockingly run down, impoverished, and neglected state of the Church of England before 1851, highlighted by Cragoe, rather than to any serious lapses in the conduct of the gentry as landlords or governors, and it had the effect of surrendering control of opinion formation to the radical-nonconformist faction, which then proceeded to dominate the second half of the century with its version of affairs. This book deserves a wide readership, within the Principality naturally but also far outside it as well, as a model essay in all-round history, treating of agriculture, local government, parliamentary elections, education, and religion, and closely integrating all these topics to provide a thesis which challenges much ruling orthodoxy and offers not so much a rehabilitation of a class which history has unfairly denigrated, for that perhaps implies a polemical note for what is a very carefully objective account, as a contribu- tion to a dispassionate reinterpretation of the 'modernization' of a traditional, paternalist society in which landlords and tenants tended to be divided by language and religion, and to be united by custom and community. F. M. L. THOMPSON Institute of Historical Research, University of London HousiNG IN THE RHONDDA, 1800-1940. By Malcolm J. Fisk. Merton Priory Press, Cardiff, 1996. Pp. 128. £ 9.95. The landscape changes which resulted from large-scale coal extraction in the valleys of the Rhondda Fawr and Fach in the nineteenth century were swifter and more intense than in many older industrial areas of Glamorgan. They began relatively late, so that even in 1851 the parish of Ystradyfodwg, which included a large part of the two valleys, had a population of only 951. By 1891 this had grown to 50,000 and by 1923 it had reached 167,000. Although it was the surface buildings of the many coal pits and their huge spoil tips which were the centrepieces of the new scenery, the long terraces of workers' houses strung along the steep hillsides were as much the essence of the Rhondda as the pits themselves. Now the collieries and the tips have gone, but the houses .(most of them) remain as the physical evidence of a vanished way of life. In this book, Malcolm Fisk describes the way in which the great influx of workers for the Rhondda mines was housed, from the advent of the first