has been no comparable synthesis since Basil Williams's The Whig Sup- remacy, published almost forty years ago. But even more valuable is the original research that has gone into the writing of Stability and Strife. For as well as reviewing recent historiography, Dr. Speck has rightly tried to approach the period in a way 'that would have made most sense to contemporaries' (p. 2). This approach is reflected in the primary position accorded to constitutional developments: to Walpole's generation it was 'the Britannic constitution that gives this kingdom a lustre, above other nations' (p. 20, quoting Roger Acherley, 1727). It is reflected in the lively use made throughout the book of the pamphlets and imaginative literature of the time (though it is a pity that nothing from this literature is specific- ally recommended in the bibliography). And it is reflected again in the excellent chapters on society and economy, where the basis for discussion is provided, respectively, by the social statistics of Gregory King (1688) and Joseph Massie (1760), and by Defoe's Tour through Great Britain (1724-26). In one respect, however, Dr. Speck does less than justice to contemporary attitudes, and this is in the field of Britain's relations with Europe. 'Foreign policy', he writes (p. 24), 'was the overwhelming con- sideration of eighteenth-century cabinets' — and, it might be added, increasingly of eighteenth-century parliaments too. Yet this is not borne out by the sketchy treatment of British diplomacy which is offered. Nor is the opportunity taken to stress the closer links of a more general kind developing between Britian and the continent at this time, as a result of commercial expansion, increasing foreign travel and immigration from abroad. A man like Abel Boyer, for example, is significant not only for his politic journalism, which Dr. Speck cites frequently, but also because he was a Huguenot 6migr6, representative of an influential cosmopolitan element in English urban society. In this period, perhaps more than in any other, the European dimension is an essential part of Britian's development. By neglecting it to some extent, Dr. Speck has weakened what is otherwise a most accomplished study. HUGH DUNTHORNE Swansea BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BRITISH HISTORY, 1789-1851. Edited by Lucy M. Brown and Ian R. Christie. Clarendon Press: Oxford University Press, 1977. Pp. xxxi, 759. £ 20.00. There can be few more selfless or daunting tasks for any historian than the compilation of a bibliography on this scale. It is a work of infinite labour, of the very greatest value to fellow historians, yet the chances of it turning into a best-seller and paying off the mortgage must be rather remote. Dr. Brown and Professor Christie have performed their duty with great distinction. It was an act of mercy to send two historians out on such a journey: perhaps the reviewers also might have worked in pairs. The essential problem is that of selection and organisation. The mass of printed material on a period like this is overwhelming, and only a fraction can be included. At every stage there are delicate judgements to be made- what to include, what priority to give it, and how to evaluate it in a few
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