If peoples and languages needed pedigrees, so even more did churches and states. And the central part of the book is devoted to the seemingly endless scholarly debates of the period over the provenance (and hence legitimacy) of political and ecclesiastical institutions in England, Scotland and Ireland. In all three kingdoms, though not at the same time, there was a tendency for myths about native forms of law and government-England's 'immemorial constitution' (p.83), 'the ancient autonomy of the Dalriadic [i.e. Gaelic] Scots' (p. 124) — to be pushed aside by what Dr Kidd calls 'Saxonism' or 'Gothicism', the notion that Britain's traditions of common law, parliamentary government and martial bravery had their roots not in British soil but in the forests of Germany, among the ancient Germanic nations. Protestant church historians, on the other hand, were much more inclined to stick to the myth of 'ancient British Christianity' (p. 99). Theirs was a church supposedly founded by missionaries from Asia Minor rather than Rome, then driven by pagan Saxon invaders into the western peripheries of the British Isles, and finally restored to its former authority and purity by reformers of the sixteenth century. It is disappointing that there is no chapter on Wales in this section of the book, to complement those on England, Scotland and Ireland. But Welsh participants in these debates are not neglected. And while the information which the author offers about, for example, the Madoc legend of the peopling of America or the philological work of Edward Lhuyd, may not be new in itself, it benefits from being placed in a broader intellectual context. More original, perhaps, is the last part of the book, where Dr Kidd takes two cliches of nineteenth-century ethnic stereotyping and then proceeds to show how foreign they were to the early modern cast of mind. The contrast between the 'pragmatic, freedom-loving Teuton' and the 'sentimental but improvident Celt' (p. 185) and the gulf supposedly separating Anglo-Saxon and Latin types are prejudices which still haunt us today. Yet neither of these distinctions would have been recognized by thinkers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. What they stressed was rather the kinship of Saxons and Celts. Indeed, the emphasis placed on their common devotion to freedom and parliamentary government served as 'a crucial bulwark of British integration' during the eighteenth century (p.284). Moreover, Euroscepticism was a good deal less common among the country's elite than it is today. Despite popular xeno- phobia fanned by Britain's long wars with France, educated opinion continued to associate Britain with the family of Gothic peoples who had established libertarian regimes on the ruins of the Roman Empire and who were seen as the common ancestors of all leading Western nations. If the French now groaned under popery and arbitrary rule while the British enjoyed toleration and limited monarchy, the explanation lay not in any inherent ethnic difference between the two peoples but rather in accidents of history and geography.