Richard Hooker has long been viewed as one of England's great theological and political writers. When he died, however, at the end of the sixteenth century, his writings had proved to be something of a damp squib. This book examines, against the background of the political and religious crisesof the seventeenth century, how he came to rise from comparative obscurity to be regarded as a universal authority. It will be seen how an unintended alliance of Reformed Protestants, suspicious of Hooker, and Catholics, anxious to exploit his perceived sympathies, led to his establishment as adistinctive, well-regarded English writer. Whilst the boundaries of Hooker's comprehensiveness have expanded and contracted in response to particular situations, the belief that he is an important writer has remained remarkably constant ever since.