An exploration of the place of radical ideas and activity in English political and social history over three centuries. Its core concern is whether a long-term history of radicalism can be written. Are the things that historians label 'radical' linked into a single complex radical tradition, or are they separate phenomena linked only by the minds and language of historians? Does the historiography of radicalism uncover a repressed dimension of English history, or is it a construct that serves the needs of the present more than the understanding of the past? The book contains a variety of answers to these questions. As well as an introduction and eleven substantive chapters, it also includes two 'afterwords' which reflect on the implications of the book as a whole for the study of radicalism. The distinguished list of contributors is drawn from a variety of disciplines, including history, political science, and literary studies.