These essays examine the thought and works of a series of writers on political thought, religion, historiography and literature, from the 16th century to the 19th. Throughout, the author is concerned to situate individual thinkers in the context of their times and, in many of the essays, to illuminate the links between intellectual currents in France and England. Particular topics include Gallicanism, Neostoicism, the historical novel, and constitutionalism, while the figures dealt with range from Bodin and Hotman in the Renaissance, to Descartes and La Rochefoucauld in the Grand Siecle and Condorcet and Diderot in the Enlightenment. Less familiar figures include the Oxford historian, Degory Wheare, and the French constitutional theorist, Henrion de Pansey. Among the topics treated in the Romantic era are comparisons between the French and English revolutions, and the French obsession with Oliver Cromwell.