circumstances' (p.231). Only when set within '"British" parameters', as Dr Stringer says of the de Vescys, can the topics and themes of this book be fully comprehended. D. P. KIRBY Bedale THE English IN THE TWELFTH CENTURY: Imperialism, NATIONAL IDENTITY AND Political VALUES. By John Gillingham. Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 2000. Pp. xxvi, 289. £ 50.00. First published, with one exception, in the 1990s, the fourteen essays in this volume offer a distinctive perspective on twelfth-century England and its relations with the rest of Britain and Ireland as well as with France. It is a tribute to their author that many of the essays have already made a significant impact on recent historiography, and the decision to reprint them here with (mainly bibliographical) revisions is very welcome. Two points about John Gillingham's approach merit emphasis. The first is its privileging of the narratives of twelfth-century historians over administrative records on the grounds that histories take us closer to 'the thought-world of the English political elite' than the more routine and formulaic language of records. An important achievement of these essays is the light they shed on the values and mentalities of writers such as William of Malmesbury, Henry of Huntingdon, Geoffrey of Monmouth and Geoffrey Gaimar, as well as on key aspects of aristocratic behaviour and lifestyle. Second, while its focus is on England, there is nothing narrowly Anglocentric about this book. Effective use is made of comparison as an explanatory tool. Many of the essays in Parts One ('Imperialism') and Two ('National Identity'), in particular, examine England's relations with, and differences from, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, notably in respect of contrasting attitudes towards the conduct of warfare. Moreover, the perspective offered here is informed by an awareness of the need to set developments in these islands against a broader European background. Thus, one of the main themes running through the volume is the impact of northern French culture on England in the wake of the Norman Conquest-an aspect of the 'Europeanization of Europe', in Robert Bartlett's by now familiar phrase— and the ways in which this interacted with concepts of English identity, while those familiar with his other work will not be surprised by the attention Professor Gillingham gives to the wider context of the Angevin empire (or by his expressions of partiality for Richard I!). In view of the alleged crisis of identity faced by the English today as both