Suffering and Happiness in England 1550-1850 pays tribute to one of the leading historians working on early modern England, Paul Slack, and his work as a historian, and enters into discussion with the rapidly growing body of work on the 'history of emotions'. The themes of suffering and happiness run through Paul Slack's publications; the first being more prominent in his early work on plague and poverty, the second in his more recent work on conceptual frameworks for social thought and action. Though he has not himself engaged directly with the history of emotions, assembling essays on these themes provides an opportunity to do that. The chapters explore in turn shifting discourses of happiness and suffering over time; the deployment of these discourses for particular purposes at specific moments; and their relationship to subjective experience. In their introduction, the editors note the very diverse approaches that can be taken to the topic; they suggest that it is best treated not as a discrete field of enquiry but as terrain in which many paths may fruitfully cross. The history of emotions has much to offer as a site of encounter between historians with diverse knowledge, interests, and skills.