Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Summer of Blood: The Peasants' Revolt of 1381” as Want to Read:
Summer of Blood: The Peasants' Revolt of 1381
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Summer of Blood: The Peasants' Revolt of 1381

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  172 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Re-evaluation of the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. Dan Jones brings to life the squalor, drama and complex hierarchies of life in the 14th century. He examines village life and the failings of government from the perspective of the revolt's key players.
Hardcover, 238 pages
Published December 4th 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Summer of Blood, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Summer of Blood

A Distant Mirror by Barbara W. TuchmanThe Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian MortimerEleanor of Aquitaine by Alison WeirThe Plantagenets by Dan JonesThe Year 1000 by Robert Lacey
Best Medieval History Books
57th out of 462 books — 201 voters
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken FollettThe Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey ChaucerWorld Without End by Ken FollettBeowulf by Unknown
Best Middle Ages Books
199th out of 978 books — 1,234 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 988)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 23, 2014 Hudson rated it really liked it
Another great medieval read from Dan Jones who is able to take a bunch of facts and dates and weave a story that moves at a fast pace.

One thing this book left me with was this: England has had many great rulers over the years and Richard II was not one of them. Granted, he was only 14 at the time of this rebellion, but he totally abandoned some of his closest circle in the Tower, they were promptly beheaded and of course, their heads were put on pikes. Weak Richard II, weak!!

Great read, recommen
Jun 10, 2011 Emilie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: histories, favorites
This book was fantastic .Jones' style makes the book impossible to stop reading ,it's almost as if it's a novel .He perfectly captured the feeling of unrest felt by both the upper and lower classes ,and explained the difficulties that led to the revolt .He also wrote in a very objective manner ,he didn't defend the rebellion nor did he condemn it ,he simply analyzed it .I hadn't read much at all about the peasant's revolt until this book ,& after reading it I will definately look for some mo ...more
J Lewis
Oct 11, 2014 J Lewis rated it really liked it
I almost didn't borrow this from the library, thinking that a book on the peasants' revolt might be a bit dry, but it was brilliant - very well-written and hard to put down. I knew almost nothing about the revolt before reading this book, but now feel like I have a fairly good understanding of events. I agree with a previous comment about it feeling a little bit rushed towards the end, and I would have quite liked a bit more detail generally, but overall, this was a really good introduction to t ...more
John W.
Aug 29, 2015 John W. rated it really liked it
A fast moving story of the peasants revolt of 1381, a revolt that moves from a organized movement under Wat Tyler and the visionary preacher John Ball to a chaotic and bloody attack against all authority. The young Richard II struggles to respond to the objectives of the revolt and then pushed by his advisors shows some leadership and lets the the revolt be crushed. Interesting for the picture of a period when Chaucer was active although what he was doing at the time is largely unknown. Also of ...more
May 26, 2011 C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, non-fiction
Dan Jones brings the late 14th century to life as he describes, in sickly and gorey detail, the peasants revolt of 1381. Including a detailed introduction on how the rebellion started and the inexperienced government that didn't seem to have a clue. Pushing the serfs/slaves and townspeople to a new anger in the seemingly endless taxing and terrible treatment, making them almost poor and going for days at a time without food.

Eventually, it goes too far with the inclusion of a poll tax, on top of
Mar 08, 2013 Emma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had this book on my shelf for a few years before I picked it up to read last night (unfortunately I have a habit of buying far more books than I can actually read). I read it to improve my understanding of the basic narrative of the Revolt for a presentation that I'm doing next week. I was pleasantly surprised at how much more there was to this little gem than a simple narrative.

I've always enjoyed getting down the the human level of history and viewing events in the context of an individuals
David Taylor
Sep 17, 2016 David Taylor rated it it was amazing
A brilliantly informative read of a relatively little known saga. Really encapsulates you, and makes you feel as if you were there.
May 19, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
Really fun history book. I read a few books on the topic for a research paper, and this was by far the most entertaining to read. Not as much scholarly credence as the others, but still an interesting brief on the period that touches on a lot of important topics, and as such sparked a lot of ideas and venues to pursue.
Sue Robinson
Jan 27, 2016 Sue Robinson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-books
Can't fault Dan Jones' writing. He makes history come alive.
Marcus Wilson
Jun 23, 2016 Marcus Wilson rated it it was amazing
One of the best accounts I've read on the Peasants Revolt of 1381. Brilliantly written, and not tough going.
This is just so boring - it reads like a text book for twelve year olds. It'll stay on my shelves as a reference book but in all honesty there is nowt on this dry level that Wiki cannot supply me with.

Author's Note

Finally, Part I kicks off on page 25
May 20, 2013 Becky rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, in-my-house
A really well written and very interesting account of the great rebellion of 1381. This uses available sources in an intelligent manner and gives detailed descriptions of the reasons behind and events of the rebellion. A gory section of English history is recounted in full without the gore becomming sickening.
Very readable account of the Peasants' Revolt. The author writes very entertainingly and I very much approve of his stated purpose of renewing interest in medieval history, but at times I thought he made a few too many assumptions about how characters were feeling and the prose got a little purple.
Sam Worby
Aug 26, 2013 Sam Worby rated it it was ok
Meh. Maybe ok as a narrative history (and seems to have a decent bibliography). Far too much presumption in giving characters thoughts, feelings and motives - presumably for narrative effect. No lines drawn between what is speculation and what is well established. No analysis. Boring.
Charlie Kester
Mar 30, 2013 Charlie Kester rated it liked it
I wasn't familiar with this episode in history before reading this book. It's a good, quick read.

But it didn't tell me as much about Wat Tyler as I wanted to know. In fact, after a comparatively leisurely beginning, the last 2/3rds of the book seemed to be a bit rushed.
Julian Haigh
Mar 30, 2015 Julian Haigh rated it really liked it
Very focused on a few days of good-ol rioting and plundering in anger over what else but taxes! Dan Jones does a great job weaving historical facts into an enjoyable narrative and does provide some context and should open the reader to interest in this time-period.
Robert Charles
Apr 03, 2013 Robert Charles rated it it was amazing
This book by Dan Jones gives an excellent account of the causes of the Peasants' Revolt of AD 1381, of how it progressed with increasing bloodshed and how it was eventually suppressed. It is useful reading for anyone with an interest in the period.
Colin Slider
Jul 19, 2014 Colin Slider rated it liked it
fascinating insights into a relatively little known and explored part of English history
Chris Hall
Aug 11, 2009 Chris Hall rated it really liked it
If I expected a historical reference book then this would get 1 star, but I approached this expecting a cracking read and potted history of the Peasant's Revolt and that's exactly what I got!
May 31, 2010 hatpin rated it liked it
A bit thin, even for popular history. The narrative is coherent but moves at such a pace, and the book is so short, that the impact of the rebellion is somewhat lessened.
Mar 18, 2015 Emily rated it liked it
Excellent history writer. I prefer the longer book on the Plantagent dynasty, the subject of this book begin a tiny segment of the longer. A quick, engaging read.
Mar 30, 2010 Douglas rated it it was amazing
A brilliant little book documenting the uprising of the common people of England against the imposition of a Poll Tax upon them by their masters.
Arbogast Holmskragga
Dec 03, 2013 Arbogast Holmskragga rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A first rate and easy to grasp (and get lost in) depiction of a chapter in history that still has great relevance for today.
Dec 02, 2013 Jacqui rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good introduction, but very limited, and leaves out some major characters.
Lana Bang
Sep 29, 2012 Lana Bang rated it really liked it
A trip back in time! Resembled a true action movie towards the end .
Jolyon is currently reading it
Oct 18, 2016
Eric Byrnes
Eric Byrnes marked it as to-read
Oct 18, 2016
Travers Oliver
Travers Oliver marked it as to-read
Oct 16, 2016
Kevin marked it as to-read
Oct 14, 2016
Alan marked it as to-read
Oct 14, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 32 33 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Edward II: The Unconventional King
  • Edward II
  • Fatal Colours
  • The Plantagenet Chronicles 1154-1485: Richard the Lionheart, Richard II, Henry V, Richard III
  • Conquest
  • 1215: The Year of Magna Carta
  • War in the Middle Ages
  • The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, Ruler of England 1327-1330
  • A History of Wales
  • Æthelstan: The First King of England
  • King John: Treachery and Tyranny in Medieval England: The Road to Magna Carta
  • The Third Plantagenet: George, Duke of Clarence, Richard III's Brother
  • William Marshal: The Flower of Chivalry
  • A Brief History of the Hundred Years War
  • Edward III
  • The Ties That Bound: Peasant Families in Medieval England
  • Harold, the Last Anglo-Saxon King
  • 1066
Dan Jones is a bestselling historian, TV presenter and award-winning journalist. His books include THE PLANTAGENETS, a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, and THE HOLLOW CROWN, a Sunday Times bestseller, published in the USA as THE WARS OF THE ROSES. He has also written books about the Peasants’ Revolt and Magna Carta and a forthcoming social history of Plantagenet England, entitled REALM ...more
More about Dan Jones...

Share This Book