This anthology focuses on Britain and France in a period critical to their development as great powers. Its emphasis is on the regions and nations of which these two states were composed, rather than on the monolithic states. The documents illustrate many facets of their history, from the personal to the constitutional and, in particular, reflect the development of absolutism in France and of limited monarchy in England and other parts of the British Isles. Additionally, the documents indicate the social, religious and political trends that influenced the direction of change. Some of the documents have been drawn from unpublished 17th- and early 18th-century sources, and a number are translated from French for the first time.