Book Review: Summer of Blood by Dan Jones (four stars)

Book Review: Summer of Blood: England’s First Revolution by Dan Jones (four stars)

“When Adam delved and Eve span,
Who, then, was the gentleman?”

The summer of 1381 England experienced a near anarchy as the commons rose up against their royal, noble, and ecclesiastical betters. Jones strings together original sources and supposition to explore the causes, development, and results of the revolt.

“After a whole day spent in such detestable actions, they were at last exhausted by their labours and the drinking of so much more wine than usual; thus in the evening you could see them lying scattered about on the streets and under the walls, sleeping like slaughtered pigs.” Thomas Walsingham

Hardly a scholarly work because Jones depends on his imaginings to connect the dots between the ancient sources. To be fair, we don’t know as much about seven centuries ago as we think. Maps and illustrations help.

The people had frightened their king, and now the king would frighten his people.


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