In 1624 James I invited Parliament to discuss issues of war and peace, setting a precedent which would make yet another inroad into the ancient prerogatives of the crown. The so-called “Happy Parliament” dismayed the peace-loving King by supporting Prince Charles and the Duke of Buckingham in their demands for war with Spain. Robert Ruigh presents an absorbing and authoritative analytic narrative of the proceedings between Parliament and the crown and their far-reaching constitutional and political consequences. His use of fifteen parliamentary diaries and other contemporary manuscripts has resulted in a balanced account which avoids the tendency to vilify the Stuarts and glorify the Commons, and which provides an integrated and perceptive picture of the Parliament. He presents an analysis of patronage in relation to the composition of the Commons and a reevaluation of historical generalizations about the senility and ineffectuality of King James during his declining years, the seizure of power by the Duke and the Prince and their management of Parliament, the precedent of free speech in foreign affairs, and the effect of Parliament on contemporary politics.