William III, William of Orange (1650-1702), is a key figure in English history. Grandson of Charles I and married to Mary, eldest daughter of James II, the pair became the object of protestant hopes after James lost the throne. Though William was personally unpopular - his continental ties the source of suspicion and resentment - Tony Claydon argues that William was key to solving the chronic instability of seventeenth-century Britain and Ireland. It took someone with a European vision and foreign experience of handling a free political system, to end the stand-off between ruler and people that had marred Stuart history. Claydon takes a thematic approach to investigate all these aspects in their wider context, and presents William as the crucial factor in Britain's emergence as a world power, and as a model of open and participatory government.