For some time before his death in July 2015, former colleagues and students of Paul Langford had discussed the possibility of organising a festschrift to celebrate his remarkable contribution to eighteenth-century history. It was planned for 2019 to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the appearance of his seminal A Polite and Commercial People, the opening volume in the New Oxford History of England series, Paul's best-known and most influential publication. He was delighted to hear of these plans and the tragic news of his death only made the contributors more determined to see the project through to completion. The importance of A Polite and Commercial People within its own time is unquestionable. Not only did it provide a powerful new vision of eighteenth-century Britain, but it also played a vital part in reviving interest in, and expanding ways of thinking about, Georgian history. As the thirteen contributors to this volume amply testify, any review of the field from the 1980s onwards cannot ignore the profound effect Paul's research had on the social and political publications in his field. This collection of essays combines reflection on the impact of Paul's work with further engagement with the central questions he posed. In particular, it serves to re-connect various recent avenues of Georgian studies, bringing together diverse themes present in Paul's scholarship, but which are often studied independently of each other. As such, it aims to provide a fitting tribute to Paul's work and impact, and a wider reassessment of the current direction of eighteenth-century studies.