The term `Little Ice Age' was originally used by glaciologists to describe the most recent major glacial advance of the Holocene. Subsequently, the `Little Ice Age' has come to be associated with a period of advances of European glaciers between about 1450 to 1850, as well as with relatively cooler temperatures. The issue of whether or not this concept remains accurate is a major theme of many of the papers included in this volume. The main geographical focus is on the North Atlantic and European sectors, and includes research from a number of different palaeoclimatic fields. Examples are the use of documentary sources, early instrumental records, grain-harvest data, fossil-insect data, ice-core records, glacial evidence, lichenometry, synoptic climatology, and also the human dimensions of climate change. The papers presented reflect state-of-the-art knowledge, as well as thought-provoking new insights into these subject areas. The book will be of value to all those interested in the above topics and in the overall themes of climate variability and global change.