This book brings together fourteen of the most influential articles on the English Civil War, which have appeared over the last thirty years, introduced and contextualized for the reader. Peter Gaunt provides a substantial and wide-ranging introduction giving the essential background to the period and key debates within it, and helping readers to understand and interpret the following chapters.The English Civil War: The Essential Readings includes coverage of all the major debates on this key period in English and British history. It examines the different interpretations of the causes of the war, encompassing long-term origins and short-term causes in the British as well as an English context. It covers key themes surrounding the course of the civil war of 1642-46, and aspects of the impact and consequences of the civil war during the late 1640s and beyond. It discusses military and political affairs alongside social, religious and economic developments, providing a rounded picture of the period. This book not only presents an essential source of key articles, it also provides the critical context to understanding the nature of past and continuing historical debates surrounding the major aspects of the civil war.