Writing and Rebellion: England in 1381
In this compelling account of the "peasants' revolt" of 1381, in which rebels burned hundreds of official archives and attacked other symbols of authority, Steven Justice demonstrates that the rebellion was not an uncontrolled, inarticulate explosion of peasant resentment but an informed and tactical claim to literacy and rule.
Focusing on six brief, enigmatic texts written by the rebels themselves, Justice places the English peasantry within a public discourse from which historians, both medieval and modern, have thus far excluded them. He recreates the imaginative world of medieval villagers—how they worked and governed themselves, how they used official communications in unofficial ways, and how they produced a disciplined insurgent ideology.
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3oure Abbey abbot action Albans Anonimalle Archbishop assertion Aston audience authority authorship Ball's bishops Cambridge Canterbury Canterbury Tales charters Chaucer chroniclers Chronicon church claim clergy clerical Corpus Christi countryside court rolls culture disendowment documentary documents Dowel English Essex eucharistic evidence example Gesta Gower Hilton History ideology imagine insurgents Jakke John Ball John Gower John Wyclif justice Kent king king's Knighton kynde kynges labor land Langland language Latin literacy Lollard London lord's lords manorial manuscript meaning meant Mede Milner monks narrative narrator Nun's Priest's Tale Oxford parliament passage Passus peasants phrase Piers Plowman poem political priest quae quod realm rebel letters rebellion record revolt Richard rising Rodney Hilton royal rural says sense social statute Statute of Laborers Sudbury Sudbury's suggests tenants texts theological trewe Trewman trewpe V. H. Galbraith vernacular village villeins violence vocabulary Walsingham Wat Tyler Wrawe writing Wyclif