Rebellion in the Middle Ages (Kindle)
Fight Against the Crown
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 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.UK Historian
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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.NetGalley, Megan Weisert
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.
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