In June 1381, the people of England, reeling from the ravages of the Black Death and protesting against an unfair Poll Tax and serfdom in general, marched on London in the first mass uprising in Western society. After several days of looting, murder and destruction, they believed they had achieved their goals, only to have the tables turned on them by then 14-year-old king Richard II. Though the revolt was ultimately suppressed and its leaders executed, it was the beginning of the end for the English feudal system, which had vanished entirely by the mid-fifteenth century. It has also proven a popular literary subject in the centuries since.
The event has been widely studied by academics, but author Jones puts the reader in the center of the action with his mesmerizing account. Summer of Blood: England’s First Revolution joins the author’s collection of other works on English history, including The Plantagenets, The Wars of the Roses, Magna Carta, and the newly-published The Templars.