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Arise, England

UK Publisher: Faber & Faber

A lively, new and sweeping history of the rise of the state in Plantagenet England.

Between 1199 and 1399, English politics was high drama. These two centuries witnessed savage political blood-letting – including civil war, deposition, the murder of kings and the ruthless execution of rebel lords – as well as international warfare, devastating national pandemic, economic crisis and the first major peasant uprising in English history.

Arise, England uses the six Plantagenet kings who ruled during these two centuries to explore England’s emergent statehood. Drawing on original accounts and arresting new research, it draws resonances between government, international relations, and the abilities, egos and ambitions of political actors, then and now. Colourful and complicated, and by turns impressive and hateful, the six kings stride through the story; but arguably the greatest character is the emerging English state itself.

Caroline Burt is a historian of medieval England and fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge. She read History at Churchill College,...