Research in cognitive psychology has contributed much to our understanding of reading and spelling. Most of this work has concentrated on the processes used by literate adults to comprehend and produce written language, but there is a growing interest in applying cognitive theories to the development of literacy, and to the understanding of disorders of reading and writing. Such disorders may be acquired as a consequence of a brain injury to a previously literate adult, or may be developmental, occurring in otherwise normal children. This textbook attempts to present this work to a non-specialist audience. Though written primarily with students of psychology and education in mind, it is accessible also to parents and teachers. The broad organization of the first edition is retained. The book opens with a consideration of the history and nature of writing, then moves on to deal with the nature of skilled reading. Other chapters deal with: the different ways that brain injury in adulthood can disrupt the mature reading skill the 'acquired dyslexias'; spelling and writing processes, both in skilled writers and in patients with 'acquired dysgraphia'; the way children develop the skills of reading and writing; and developmental reading and writing problems.