23 APRIL 1942, Page 16

Shorter Notices THESE villagers lived a long time ago, before

even Chaucer arrn to portray one or two of them ; but Mr. Homans, an Amen sociologist, has managed to bring together a great deal about th affairs and abilities. Under the headings Fields, Families. M and Feasts he sets forth with steady accuracy the mass of info tion which he has drawn from unpublished rolls and recur and from printed sources ; there is no ornamentation about work—it is plain, sound and substantial. He quotes (for cxanIP Tusser in illustration of his much earlier husbandmen, but Tusse farming calendar may not have differed widely from theirs. 0. c sionally even now the villager discusses some right or responstbdi of the Lord of the Manor. The book before us is a ma of details about such a personage, and scores of similar ano figures or arrangements or objects which are still to be dimly' tI in our agricultural parishes when the spirit moves. As for imprn ment and progress, doubtless these have been great ; and we ma'

glad that nowadays our village is safe from the Free Bull (and Boar) which was formerly allowed to rush about. Mr. Hotnans has written his survey in an admirable temper towards past and present, neither imagining endless rigadoons round maypoles nor discerning incessant misery, filth and grotesqueness. We may add that he sympathetically gives translations of the passages of mediaeval Latin which he works in.