then that of revising it and getting it through the press. Dr. Knights's monograph is an outstanding example of one which has evaded the trap, for it addresses a debate which has developed over the past few years in such a way as to make his work even more rele- vant. The debate concerned was started by Jonathan Scott, who found an infallible procedure for waking up the sleepy world of late Stuart studies overnight; that of launch- ing a convincing attack upon a long-standing orthodoxy and substituting an alternative argument which was unconvincing enough in parts to invite an instant reply. The result- ing discussion has been amicable, constructive and far-reaching. If Mark Knight's contribution seems particularly valuable, this is partly because it is based upon an enor- mous labour of archival research and partly because it has landed so precisely between the competing views that it can easily appear the most reasonable. The fallen orthodoxy was that of J. R. Jones, who suggested that the first recogniz- able English political party was the Whig one of the Exclusion Crisis, constructed by the political genius of the earl of Shaftesbury and united by the single issue of exclusion. Dr. Scott's suggestion was that Shaftesbury was only one leader of it, and that it was concerned with many other issues, the most important of which were rooted far back in the earlier part of the century. Both parts of his argument are thoroughly endorsed by this book. On the other hand, it breaks firmly with Jonathan Scott's other proposal that the label of party was itself anachronistic, and that many of the Whigs of 1678 turned into the Tories of 1683. Dr. Knights finds cadres of politicians upon both sides who were defined by instincts and ideologies fundamentally opposed to each other. In his model, the Tories emerged victorious partly by winning over a public opinion which found their views better suited to changed times, and partly by mobilizing people who had formerly remained passive. His picture is attractive largely because it is both subtle and flexible: it makes allowance for varying importance of different issues at different moments, for short-term oscillations of public opinion, for the linkage of court faction to party leadership, and for the importance of personality and expedient at all stages. For the present reviewer, three aspects of the study are of particular interest. The first is that it gives the worst impression yet of the abilities of Charles II as a statesman and politician, revealing a monarch incapable for years of settling upon a policy or a set of advisers. Dr. Knights tries hard to rescue him by suggesting that this may have had short-term benefits, but the overall impression of muddle and drift is very powerful. The second is that it demonstrates how during the Exclusion Crisis religious beliefs were so bound up with political and social attitudes that it is an artificial and ultimately pointless exercise to try to isolate them as factors of causation: a conclusion mirroring that of David Smith for the Civil War. The third is that, like the rest of the debate of which it forms part, it chooses to concentrate upon high politics, metropolitan affairs, the national press, the writings of intellectuals, and Parliament. Ultimately, the question of the nature of political parties in the period can only be resolved by resuming the study of provincial history which flourished so well around 1980 and has now withered. I would put my money upon Tim Harris to be the person to achieve this, but in this splendid first book Mark Knights proves himself quite capable of undertaking the job. RONALD HUTTON Bristol