Professor Saraiva's multi-volume History of Portugal is a celebrated scholarly standard work. Yet, when he published a one-volume Historia Concisa, it proved a run-away best seller in Portugal, and the television series that went with it became a chart-topper. His latest book, produced especially for Carcanet's Aspects of Portugal series, is a history of his country, brief, acute and illuminating, written with scholarly insight and with non-specialist foreign readers specifically in mind. To this main text Ian Robertson, author of the well-known Blue Guide to Portugal, has added a historical gazeteer, brief biographies, chronological tables, maps and other elements which make this an essential Companion, the sort of book that a reader in need of accurate, brief and lucid reference will find useful, and every visitor to Portugal will find rewarding. The book is generously illustrated.