This is a much-needed reassessment of politics under the later Stuarts which manages both to include the (usually forgotten) kingdoms of Scotland and Ireland and - perhaps most significantly - to embrace the role of popular politics in the Glorious Revolution.
In essence this work involves a controversial personal statement by Harris who clearly has his own vision of what 1680s politics was all about - affecting ALL the Stuart kingdoms, involving ALL of the subjects of those realms and (most controversially) including a genuine and successful 'Revolution'. Unlike other weaker historians (e.g. David Starkey), however, Harris takes great pains in his introduction to explain and justify his points as well as recognising that other views of the period exist. This means that while one does not always agree with his views (such as over the importance of 1688 compared to 1649) there can be no doubting the rigour and genuine quality of his scholarship.
In particular, in his pleasingly authoritative and engaging style Harris has succeeded in presenting Charles II in a way that followers of TV 'history' and period dramas will find strange - a largely ineffective monarch who was incapable of understanding the bitter and savage nature of Restoration politics and one who was completely out of touch with the majority of the peoples who inhabited his kingdoms. The myth of the 'Merrie Monarch' is thus well and truly dismantled!
This work is a valuable contribution to the study of politics under the later Stuarts and deserves a wide audience. I for one cannot wait for the second volume (out next year)!