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Rebellion in the Middle Ages (Hardback)

Fight Against the Crown

P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 14th Century P&S History > By Century > 15th Century P&S History > By Century > 16th Century P&S History > Medieval World > Medieval History P&S History > Royal History World History > UK & Ireland > England

By Matthew Lewis
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781526727930
Published: 10th December 2021



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Shakespeare’s Henry IV lamented ‘Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown’. It was true of that king’s reign and of many others before and after. From Hereward the Wake’s guerilla war, resisting the Norman invasion of William the Conqueror, through the Anarchy, the murder of Thomas Becket, the rebellions of Henry II’s sons, the deposition of Edward II, the Peasants’ Revolt and the rise of the over-mighty noble subject that led to the Wars of the Roses, kings throughout the medieval period came under threat from rebellions and resistance that sprang from the nobility, the Church and even the general population.

Serious rebellions arrived on a regular cycle throughout the period, fracturing and transforming England into a nation to be reckoned with. Matthew Lewis seeks to examine the causes behind the insurrections and how they influenced the development of England from the Norman Conquest until the Tudor period. Each rebellion’s importance and impact is assessed both individually and as part of a larger movement to examine how rebellions helped to build England.

I've read several of Matthew Lewis' books at this point and, after reading this one, I'll definitely want to read more.

NetGalley, Maria Düring

"This is a complex period which in lesser hands could serve to confuse more. Happily, Matt has produced an interesting and informative book, supported with a bibliography and endnotes to facilitate further reading"

The Ricardian Bulletin, June 2022

Get "in the know" with the low down on all the ups and downs of the Middle Ages. Matthew Lewis has provided an excellent look inside the many different rebellions and uprisings that occurred and lays it out in an easy-to-follow format.

I have never been disappointed with Matthew Lewis's books, and this was no exception. From William the Conquerer to the Wars of the Roses, the cousins, war. and so much more - you are going to dive into a time of history that was as fascinating as it was deadly.

Get lost in history (and survive) with this exciting book.

NetGalley, Rebecca Hill

Mr. Lewis traces the history of revolt amongst the common man of Great Britain. The Magna Carta to Wat Tylers Rebellion. Mr. Lewis tells us of the major commoner uprisings of the Middle Ages and analyzes the causes and courses of the uprisings. This is a good overall introduction to the rise of representative democracy in Great Britain.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This was a rather fascinating tale on various uprisings in the Middle Ages. As someone who reads this history as a pure hobby, it was interesting to see this topic covered. I would recommend this to anyone looking to explore this topic as well.

NetGalley, Dylan Simon

As featured in

Shropshire Star

I have to say ‘when you get a Pen & Sword Book, you get a brilliant read’. I’m afraid I have to spoil things and give the game away at the beginning of my thoughts in that I thought this was a really good book.

Read the full review here

UK Historian

As featured in: 'Author rewrites history with his fresh perspective on well-known uprisings'

Bridgnorth Journal

I've never read from Matthew Lewis in the past, but after reading this I am absolutely picking up more of his work. This book was incredibly well researched and packed with a lot of information without the dry feeling of a textbook.

Starting with the William the Conquerer and the Norman invasion, Lewis moves through the major rebellions in England during the Middle Ages. He looks at the reasons for the rebellion and how the fallout impacted events later down the line. Throughout the book we see rebellions led by all sorts, from the nobility to the Church to peasants and we are able to see how their reasoning for rebellion differs or remains the same despite class or time.

While each of these rebellions has a number of tomes dedicated to them individually, I loved the comprehensive overview delivered here. As an American who didn't grow up learning this in school, I thought it was great for anyone who is starting to learn about this era or someone who knows a little but wants to learn more.

NetGalley, Megan Weisert

Individually, every one of these rebellions would have numerous books dedicated to deciphering the intricacies of why the rebels did what they did. However, Lewis has taken on the mammoth task of combining these tales into one comprehensive nonfiction book easy to read for novices and experts alike. This book is another triumph for Matthew Lewis. If you want an excellent book that examines the origins of medieval rebellions and how they impacted English history, “Rebellion in the Middle Ages: Fight Against the Crown” by Matthew Lewis is the ideal book for your collection.

NetGalley, Heidi Malagisi

Featured in 'Nemesis of the Normans'

BBC History

About Matthew Lewis

Matthew Lewis trained in law and is now a full-time author of historical fiction and non-fiction. He also blogs on his website, Matt’s History Blog, and can be found on Twitter as @mattlewisauthor. His main interest is medieval history and he has written several books on that topic, including Stephen & Matilda’s Civil War: Cousins of Anarchy, Richard, Duke of York: King by Right and Richard III: Loyalty Binds Me.

Perfect Partner

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Elizabeth I. Tudor, Queen, Protestant. Throughout her reign, Elizabeth I had to deal with many rebellions which aimed to undermine her rule and overthrow her. Led in the main by those who wanted religious freedom and to reap the rewards of power, each one was thwarted but left an indelible mark on Queen Elizabeth and her governance of England. Learning from earlier Tudor rebellions against Elizabeth’s grandfather, father, and siblings, they were dealt with mercilessly by spymaster Francis Walsingham who pushed for the execution of Mary Queen of Scots due to her involvement, and who created one…

By Helene Harrison

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