weaving in the findings of other historians, he has written a fascinating study of the Welsh 'lower orders' in the eighteenth century. The book begins with an extended discussion of the pattern of Welsh farming. Wales was hardly home to an agricultural revolution in the eighteenth century; indeed, Howell describes what he calls the 'tardy progress in farming practices' which persisted down to the Napoleonic wars (p. 5). Given the nature of the terrain it is hardly surprising to find the majority of enclosure acts dated from the years after 1793 and involved vast tracts of upland moors (p. 9). Howell looks at population and social structure using contemporary listings to good effect, and, briefly, at the small, sparsely scattered towns of rural Wales. Themes opened up in the introduction are examined in more detail as the book progresses. Chapter 2 is a discussion of the tenant farmers and small freeholders of Wales, and includes subjects such as leases, forms of tenure and types of farming, rents and tithes, and the economic conditions in which the Welsh farmers operated. Subsequently chapter 6 comes back to relationships between landlords and tenant farmers, and between farmers and their labourers. Chapter 3 is a study of village craftsmen and artisans, and chapter 4 is on what Howell calls the 'labouring poor'. He weaves together the sparse and rather spotty data on wages and prices, and looks also at what he calls 'props against indigence', namely friendly society funds and seasonal migration in search of work. The role of women in the local economy, particularly textile production, is high- lighted. The chapter finishes with a discussion of diet and of ways in which individuals might exploit common rights in order to put together a living. Chapter 5 takes us to the dependent poor, notably to poor relief, the work- house, and begging. For those at the very bottom of society conditions could be harsh indeed: Thomas Martin, 80, died on Christmas Eve 1766, at St David's in Pembrokeshire, when he collapsed on the road and 'either through hunger, cold or inclemency of the weather expired' (p.11 10). The second half of the book, chapters 7 to 10, take us into the everyday life of the lower orders. Chapter 7 provides a fascinating discussion of popular culture-particularly strong as a result of the Welsh language-and highlights many of the tensions that grew up between the alehouse and the new Methodist culture. Whatever the Methodists may have sought, this was still a community happy to engage in animal sports, rough music and astrology; indeed, even in 1800 Methodist leaders found some adherents unwilling to give up magic and witchcraft superstitions. Chapter 8 moves the discussion on to politics, particularly to the voting habits of Welsh tenant farmers, and at the influence of local issues. Chapter 9 is on riots (food and militia) and popular resistance as shown through smuggling, wrecking, poaching, clashes over manorial rights and hostility to strangers. Chapter 10 looks at interpersonal violence and the chronic levels of theft which bedevilled rural Wales. Finally, in