The years 1637-1641 marked the ominous shift from the days when King Charles I of England felt himself the world's happiest monarch to the calling of the Long Parliament which presaged his downfall. Even in 1637 there were Problems that pointed the way,- the Hampden case, the reform of the Scottish Church, various prosecutions in the Star Chamber, changed conditions in Ireland, and so on. Problems of revenue dogged the whole of his reign. The signing of the Covenant consolidated the forces against him in Scotland. But issues came to a head in the struggle for the control of the military. Miss Wedgwood is that rare scholar-historian who is able to enliven her analysis of the elements of struggle with an objective view of the contributions Charles made to the growth of his realm. And- for that reader to whom the human factor is paramount- she paints in her background of a way of life, changing social mores, the day by day living of the men and the women of the time. Lively history, liberally documented, well-balanced. Essential reading for students of England's shift from a virtually absolute monarchy into a republic.