This text caused a major stir when it was first published in 1976. Redirecting scholarly attention to the county communties, it reassessed their role in the events of the 1630s and 1640s, claiming they were far more independent of London and the national leadership than usually supposed, and that provincial opinion was itself a powerful actor in the countdown to civil war. Much work has since appeared to confirm or modify these findings. In this reset second edition the original survives largely untouched; but now includes entirely new histiorographic commentary on the text and supporting documents.
'Brilliant, pioneering ... Students cannot afford to neglect this study ... One cannot exaggerate the importance of the perspective provided by this book.'
–The Times Literary Supplement