be found in the Victoria County History, Berkshire, is very prosaic: Lambourn was given to Mabel as dower when she married John de Tregoz. The political role of the marcher lords in national events is somewhat exaggerated. Dr. Meisel sees the existence of two Englands, 'one led by the king and his court and the other led by the Marcher barons'. These barons 'hovered over the March like a giant thundercloud on the English horizon'. Regional and separate loyalties were certainly strong, but do they justify this almost Disraelian concept of two nations ? Can they lead to the view that 'much of the history of thirteenth century England is in urgent need of revision'? Perhaps it is: but one local study, narrowly based in area and range, can scarcely be expected to substantiate such a claim. It is sad to have to concentrate on weaknesses in a first book which shows considerable promise. Firmer supervision at graduate school, or a candid and informed reader at the point of publication, might have eliminated some of the weaknesses and fostered the promise. Swansea DAVID WALKER Froissart: HISTORIAN. Edited by J. J. N. Palmer. The Boydell Press; Rowman & Littlefield, 1981. Pp. xii, 203. £ 20.00. Understandably, a major work on Froissart as an historian would be difficult for one man to write. The oeuvre is so large, the manuscript problems so considerable, the difficulties arising from the fact that we are dealing with a man whose talent lay in the writing of both 'intermi- nable' verse (mainly fiction) and historical narrative (usually fact) so great that it would constitute the undertaking of a lifetime (or of a good part of it) for an individual to study the writer to whom all who wish to learn about the fourteenth century must, sooner or later, turn. If one man cannot do the work, then today's practice of collecting a team must needs be invoked instead. This team, and not least the captain, had no easy task. The approach chosen, 'Froissart and (which may be a person or persons or a particular geographical area, perhaps between certain dates) has tended to lead to a series of opening generalisations on Froissart's work followed by a closer look at a particular subject. Some of these statements have too little of what is new or constructive to offer, and tend to be rather negative in character. Is it really necessary to repeat that Froissart sometimes got his dates wrong? This failure clearly worried some contributors, while others seemed less concerned by it. It was more interesting and constructive to be shown that Froissart's 'historical' approach differed much from that of our day; that he lacked that sense of reflection and critical approach which we look for in proper historical writing today; and that his evidence (for instance, his portrait of Gaston Febus) does not necessarily correspond to that based upon a study of archive material. Indeed, does Froissart merit the title of historian given him in this book? The case is made, but by the end one reader remained unconvinced. His work is too strongly didactic, too romantic and, in spite of some special pleading, too little concerned with the critical approach and the notion of causality for him to merit the title. He
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