In the last half-century the historiography of the English Revolution has gone through four fairly well defined stages. First, we had the political narrative, worked out with meticulous care and scholarship by a great Victorian historian, S. R. Gardiner. This religio-constitutional interpretation came under massive attack from the Marxists just before the Second World War, and the comfortable old Whiggish paradigm collapsed to be replaced by a clear-cut conflict between rising bourgeoisie and decaying feudal classes. Next came a short post-war period of dazzling and wildly contradictory theorizing on the basis of the most slender of documentary evidence, until the areas of agreement on every aspect of the problem were reduced to almost zero, and the English Revolution lapsed into the sort of fragmented chaos in which the historiography of the French Revolution wallows today. With both revolutions, once historians have realized that the Marxist interpretation does not work very much better than the Whig, there has followed a period when there is nothing very secure to put in its place. The last twenty years, however, have seen the most remarkable efflorescence of specialized historical monographs, the work of scholars on both sides of the Atlantic who have been prepared to take the infinite pains required for any historical research of enduring value, and who have also had the insight, imagination and intellectual capacity to marshal their findings and to generalize from them. Historians have also adopted more sophisticated models of historical explanation concerning both the nature of early modern society and the feed-back effect upon each other of economics, social structure, ideas, and institutions, to say nothing of the intervention of sheer chance. As a result a good deal of light is at last beginning to penetrate the fog: truth – partial, imperfect, provisional truth – is starting to emerge.