I'm teaching a senior seminar on early modern English lit, and I think my students would find it incredibly useful to have a good history book.
I'm a drama person, so a focus as narrow as 1570-1642 would be fine. A bit broader would be fine, too. I'm thinking of something along the lines of Wrightson's English Society or Sommerville's Politics and Ideology. Both of those are a bit old now, and I'm sure there's something better out there to introduce my students to the period in England.