Black Country Elites is a study of the people who ran Victorian industrial towns; it also examines the institutions, policies, rituals, and networks these urban elites deployed to cope with urban growth, social unrest, and relative economic decline. Concentrating on a particularly grimydistrict of the industrial Midlands, the book demonstrates the surprisingly great resources, coherence, sophistication and impact of the area's mainly middle class leaders, who were well linked to regional and national power centres. Richard H. Trainor's extensively researched and richly documented analysis suggests the need to re-examine the influential view that Victorian Britain's social development was dominated by London and by land, the professions, and finance. Instead he indicates the complex give-and-take between themetropolis and its notables, on the one hand, and the industrial provinces and their leaders, on the other. The book is both a substantial addition to regional studies of Victorian Britain, and an important contribution to the history of nineteenth-century elites and of the urban middleclass.