11 MARCH 1966, Page 31

It's a toss-up whether we are more or less open

to be swindled in modern Britain than were our mediaeval ancestors, whose range of choice was minute and whose knowledge of the wares available was (in part thanks to the strict market rules in force) precise and thorough. Certainly our basic attitude to buying seems to have changed. In her newly-published History of Shopping (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 40s.), Mrs. Dorothy Davis comments that 'householders bargaining in local markets would be more likely to feel ashamed of being outwitted than outraged at being swindled.' Our plight is often that we do not know when we have been swindled.