substantive plwca, 'dirt, mire', of uncertain origin. A blindwell (p. 251) is probably a well without an outlet, as is its Welsh equivalent Ffynnon Goeg. A more general criticism of the book is that it is far too long; it could have been pruned severely without detracting from the quality of its scholarship and real interest. Too much of the 'thesis' has come through to the printed page, and the fact that the notes on names were compiled with the general reader in mind as well as the specialist has led to the inclusion of much extraneous and irrelevant material. Compression is a virtue in this kind of work. The piling up of early forms (for instance, about forty references to the form Barry), especially if they are merely orthographical variants, serves little purpose. A representative selection of significant early forms which illustrate the history and development of a name should suffice. The articles tend to be over-elaborate. Three simple names like St. Andrews, St. George and St. Nicholas take up seven and a half pages of text. There is no need to trace the cognates of common words like calch, eryr, gof, mynydd, newydd, etc., in other Celtic languages, nor to include fanciful etymologies, particularly the curious fabrications of lolo Morganwg. To survey the place-names of the other nine hundreds of Glamorgan on this extravagant scale would require another nine volumes. The EPNS has dealt with Yorkshire, an area seven times larger, in ten volumes. B. G. CHARLES National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth A HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL IRELAND. By A. J. Otway-Ruthven. With an introduction by Kathleen Hughes. Benn, London, 1968. Pp. xv, 454, with pull-out map. 70s. Professor Otway-Ruthven has written a history of medieval Ireland. The indefinite article may be regarded as having more than its usual significance. The author, with undue modesty, calls her book 'no more than an interim report'. It is vastly more than that; but she also admits to two major gaps, the economic history of the period and the history of Gaelic Ireland, 'subjects which have hardly been touched by any writer'. Miss Otway-Ruthven's book does not fill these gaps, but it does give us in twelve massively-documented chapters, the fullest and most author- itative account of the Anglo-Norman conquest of Ireland, of the medieval state which was set up by that conquest, and of the 'English colony' to which in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries that state had been reduced, that we have yet had from any scholar or are likely to have for many years. The book may therefore be said, paradoxically, to be incomplete yet definitive. That history must be written from several different standpoints
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