1381: The Year of the Peasants' Revolt

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Product Details

$29.95  $27.85
Belknap Press
Publish Date
6.53 X 9.77 X 1.57 inches | 2.08 pounds

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About the Author

JULIET BARKER is an award winning writer and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She is the author of major biographies of the Brontes and Wordsworth. All her royalties from this book will go to Caring For Life. She is married with two children and lives in Yorkshire.


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, and with several interesting new arguments about key figures and moments in the rebellion...She succeeds in painting a vivid and exciting portrait of a country in angry upheaval. It is as timely subject matter as ever.--Dan Jones "Sunday Times" (10/5/2014 12:00:00 AM)
Brilliant...[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 for a few weeks in June.--Ben Wilson "The Times" (10/18/2014 12:00:00 AM)
Barker's book is a thorough and workmanlike study...offering a close look at what things were actually like.--Eric Christiansen "New York Review of Books" (7/9/2015 12:00:00 AM)
Juliet Barker has written a splendid account of the events of 1381 and their wider context, enlivened with many arresting anecdotes...Throughout the book, Barker challenges conventional assumptions about the uprising. She stresses how little is actually known of the alleged leaders of the revolt.--David Carpenter "London Review of Books" (6/2/2016 12:00:00 AM)
The events of 1381 have long fascinated historians...In her deeply researched and exceptionally well-illustrated book, Juliet Barker indeed tells the story, but unpicks many of the assumptions behind it.--Tom Shippey "Books & Culture" (3/1/2015 12:00:00 AM)
An accomplished historian, Barker has produced a carefully researched, vividly narrated account of the most serious and widespread popular uprising in English history, the so-called Peasants' Revolt of 1381...Barker's portrait of England in the era of the great uprising shows how the exploitation of the majority of the population by the rich and powerful elite finally became intolerable to those who believed themselves to be oppressed, and the socioeconomic tension produced an explosion...This is a fascinating resource for anyone interested in late medieval English history.--A. C. Reeves "Choice" (4/1/2015 12:00:00 AM)
In this excellent in-depth examination of the Peasants Revolt in England at the time of Richard II, Barker shatters the popular image of grubby serfs armed with pitchforks challenging authority. Using the many records of the time, Barker establishes the background to the revolt, distinguishing individual actors rather than seeing 'the peasants' as a unit... Barker details the course of the revolt from the agitators' initial success in getting concessions from Richard II through its ultimate failure. Fascinating and informative, Barker's authoritative analysis of this medieval crisis takes on a haunting resonance in the modern day.-- "Publishers Weekly" (8/25/2014 12:00:00 AM)
Praise for Juliet Barker's Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle that Made England: [Barker's] book is quite wonderfully vivid, clear and involving. She never forgets that a military campaign is made up of human beings.-- "The Economist"