at the end of the relevant charters. The historical background section gives the arguments for the dating of each charter, whilst the section on lands identifies places and refers to the maps which close the book. There is a great deal of detail there, but it does seem strange that all indication of elevation above sea level has been omitted. As for the lists of people, divided into clergy and laymen, with subsections, these present real problems to the user who might expect to find here the equivalent of an index. The clergy, for example, are divided up into Non-Cistercians and Cistercians, but one is given no reason why five Magistri are attributed to Ystrad Marchell itself. Master Roger of numbers 14 and 16 could equally well be attached to Alan, bishop of Bangor, the issuer of 16. He does follow a monk and lay brother in 14, but there also precedes an archdeacon. The lack of indices buries a good deal of evidence: without reading the whole volume there is no way that one could know that the hospitallers of Carno, or the abbots of Dieulacres and Whitland (rather than just named abbots) all occur, and the lack of a subject index means that the number of sales, rather than gifts, cannot be estimated (I counted up thirty-one of them, in addition to the list of nine given on p. 105), nor how many grants of fisheries or pasture were made. None the less, Dr Thomas has put future generations deeply in his debt, though they may, like this reviewer, mutter about the odd decision to do without any index. CHRISTOPHER HOLDSWORTH Exeter MEDIEVAL WELSH LITERATURE. By Andrew Breeze. Four Courts Press, 1997. Pp. 174. £ 27.50. General studies of Welsh literary history being lamentably few and far between, one might have expected that this volume would have been greeted with warm enthusiasm. In fact, although its publication attracted the attention of the media, including 'Fleet Street', its reception by Welsh scholars has been decidedly cool. On first examination, the volume appears quite unobjectionable: nicely produced, the study deals with Welsh literature from the earliest examples (dated to the latter part of the sixth century) down to 1525, in six chapters corresponding to conventional literary divisions of that period, namely, The Earliest Poems; The Age of the Poets of the Princes; The Mabinogion; Other Prose: History, Law, Religion; Dafydd ap Gwilym; The Poets of the Noblemen [viz., Gentry]. Why then, after the initial flurry of interest and hype, has the volume met with almost universal criticism?