3 AUGUST 1929, Page 19

It has been said that the one value of history

is that it should deal with realities. Dr. H. J. Hewitt enforces that position in his Medieval Cheshire (Manchester University Press, 21s.), the purport of which is further explained by the sub-title, " An Economic and Social History of Cheshire in the Reign of the Three Edwards." To attempt in a paragraph even to indicate the contents of such a book would be absurd, and we must be content, therefore, with recording its appear- ance and drawing attention to it. Particular stress is laid on four features which are specially characteristic of Cheshire : the influence on the county of North Wales, " the salt industry in the Wiches, the turbulence of the people and their war- service, and the extensive use of marl." One brief note may be suffered. Dr. Hewitt mentions that there is still a lack of evidence respecting the distribution of Cheshire salt. A few instructive road-names are given in his book, but a more intensive study of such names (as has been done for Worcester- shire and the salt of Droitwich) might reveal more mutes which carried Cheshire salt over Northern England and Wales. As to the salt-industry generally, Dr. Hewitt completely disposes of Thorold Rogers' unwarranted contention that the English did not, before the beginning of the eighteenth century, make any use of the brine-springs of Cheshire.