Scotland's towns are almost unique in Western Europe. They do not derive from Roman models but grew from planned medieval burghs. The first of these were founded by David I in the 12th century and includes towns like Perth, Aberdeen, Elgin, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. This is the first popular synthesis to be attempted of what life was like in these new communities - not simply with regard to houses, clothes and lifestyles but also in relation to the religious houses which played such an important part in their life, the hospitals which treated the sick, and the industries and trade which provided their life blood. Extensive use of reconstruction illustration and photographs combine to create a vivid picture of the bustling nature and wealth of the original new towns.