The new edition of this classic history provides readers with an introduction to a period characterized by diversity and vitality alongside war, plague, revolution and famine. The book has been updated in the light of recent scholarship and includes a fully revised bibliography.The history of Europe between 1648 and 1688, often associated mostly with Louis XIV or the Age of the Baroque, was in fact disturbed by more cross-currents than at almost any other period. Disturbances, conflicts and uprisings along the remote frontiers, in Poland, in the Ukraine, in the Carpathians and in South-Eastern Europe, had repercussions in Vienna, Paris, Stockholm, and The Hague, affecting diplomacy across the world. Yet, at the same time, Europe was home to Newton and Huygens, Velazquez and Rembrandt, Pascal and Bossuet, Bernini and Racine. The diversity and vitality of European science and culture was all the more astonishing for the incessant ravages of war, plague and famine.The period which opens with a lull after the Thirty Years War and closes with another period of calm before the Wars of English and Spanish Succession, witnessed the flowering of Dutch prosperity, the rise of Muscovy, and the slow decline of Turkey and Venice. Almost everywhere the institution of monarchy, shaken at the outset, was by 1688 more strongly entrenched than ever.