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 400 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.
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Now I know I knew nothing before.
Peasants Revolt was about many things and it was fought by many people but it was not fought by or for peasants. Amazing how myths are created and how they have their own lives. Jack Cade, John Bull, Watt Tyler - names we all know and yet we actually know nothing about their actions. Or lack of it as it turns out.
Debunking myths, sieving through ghost stories and taking people out of the picture they were firmly stuck in.
Yes. And I did. Save for a loo, food and sleep. Scratch that, I listened in the bathroom and while eating.
It's amazing that this book can be a scholarly work and a really entertaining political thriller at the same time. You can make notes or just enjoy listening. Rare feat indeed.
Much more than a history of the Peasant's Revolt