The Life and Legend of a Rebel Leader: Wat Tyler (Hardback)
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In 1381, England was on the brink - the poor suffered the effects of war, the Black Death, and Poll Tax. At this time the brave Wat Tyler arose to lead the commoners, forming an army who set off to London to meet with King Richard II and present him with a list of grievances and demands for redress. Tyler was treacherously struck down by the Lord Mayor. His head hacked from his shoulders, pierced on a spike, and made a spectacle on London Bridge. Yet he lived on through the succeeding centuries as a radical figure, the hero of English Reformers, Revolutionaries, and Chartists.
The Life and Legend of a Rebel Leader: Wat Tyler examines the eponymous hero's literary afterlives. Unlike other medieval heroes such as King Arthur or King Alfred, whose post medieval manifestations were supposed to inspire pride in the English past, if Wat Tyler's name was invoked by the people, the authorities had something to fear.
There is much to admire in this book, containing as it does material from a forgotten cultural history, and showing the way the literature of different ages have responded to the legend. Basdeo has an easy reading style, and although the theme is by its very nature somewhat repetitive, there is plenty of interest in these often forgotten literary pieces, and the author has contrived to pursue a single theme throughout in both a scholarly and entertaining fashion.Magonia
Read the complete review here.
Article: Following the legend of our son Wat Tyler by Alan Smith as featured byKent Messenger (Maidstone), 19th April 2018
As featured byRipperologist, February/March 2018 – reviewed by Paul Begg