A fascinating and evocative account of the Peasants' Revolt from the acclaimed author of Agincourt.
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.
Juliet Barker is both a distinguished biographer and a medievalist and scholar.
Juliet Barker's thorough, clear-eyed and intelligent new volume adds much to the field: packed with vivid pen portraits of the rebels and the men they hunted . . . a vivid and exciting portrait of a country in angry upheaval. It is as timely subject matter as ever — Dan Jones, Sunday Times
A richly detailed account of the England of 1381 based on painstaking detective work — The Times
Fine and thoughtful . . . Barker brilliantly picks through the toxic brew of grievances that would, in 1381, boil over . . . a serious and valuable book — Helen Castor, Literary Review
Timely and comprehensive . . . We could argue all day over our favourite turning points in England's history. Barker shows that, without doubt, the turmoil of 1381 cannot be left off anyone's list — Paul Kingsnorth, Booker-nominated author of The Wake, New Statesman
Barker brings order to the patchwork of uprisings
England, Arise purposely slows down the vertiginous speed of the revolt's progression to a more deliberate pace, in order to explore not that main events of the rebellion but their hinterland. In this, it is a considerable achievement, a meticulous anatomy of this most resonant of uprisings
— Thomas Penn, Guardian
A riveting new study of the rising — Mail on Sunday
Barker gives a richly detailed account of the England of 1381 based on painstaking detective work and resurrects from obscurity the ordinary men and women who enflamed the country — The Times
A thoroughly researched, engagingly written account of a moment when the world was - almost - turned upside down — BBC History