From the very beginning of this book, the reader is left in no doubt of what he should think once its eight hundred pages have been absorbed. The first paragraph pronounces that ‘the history of eighteenth-century Britain was in Europe’. All the attention given to America, India, and the imperial project generally has gone too far. In fact, British soldiers sweating it out in Bengal or freezing in New England were only engaged in peripheral events. The real focus of foreign policy had to be on European developments.