The dramatic and shocking events of the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 are to be the backdrop to Juliet Barker's latest book: a snapshot of what everyday life was like for ordinary people living in the middle ages. The same highly successful techniques she deployed in Agincourt and Conquest will this time be brought to bear on civilian society, from the humblest serf forced to provide slave-labour for his master in the fields, to the prosperous country goodwife brewing, cooking and spinning her distaff and the ambitious burgess expanding his business and his mental horizons in the town. The book will explore how and why such a diverse and unlikely group of ordinary men and women from every corner of England united in armed rebellion against church and state to demand a radical political agenda which, had it been implemented, would have fundamentally transformed English society and anticipated the French Revolution by four hundred years. The book will not only provide an important reassessment of the revolt itself but will also be an illuminating and original study of English medieval life at the time.
Noted for her acclaimed studies of the Hundred Years War, Juliet Barker now turns her attention to the popular revolt that broke out in southern England in the summer of 1381. This ultimately unsuccessful rebellion was, unusually, led by commoners and it terrified the establishment and the monarchy. In a fascinating inquiry, Barker tries to look at who the rebels were (noting that they were not simple peasants), what their motivation was, and what their complaints and demands meant. Seeking objectivity, she critiques the left’s view of the rebels as proto-socialists, but also demolishes the establishment’s case, set in stone by contemporary chroniclers who were hostile to the rebels, that the rebellion was pure anarchy. Set within the context of life in England, this study is an important step forward in understanding the mind-set of medieval people, and the tensions within feudal society.
Publication date: 02/10/2014
Publisher: Little, Brown an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group
|Publication date:||2nd October 2014|
|Publisher:||Little, Brown an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, History,|
Juliet Barker is a distinguished biographer, medievalist and scholar. She is both a bestselling historian and a critically acclaimed expert on the Brontes.More About Juliet Barker