The English Rebel
The English have a rich and glorious history of making trouble for themselves. One hundred and forty years before the French Revolution, the English executed their king and instituted a radical revolutionary government. In 1215, more than 570 years before the United States ratified its Bill of Rights, England's barons forced King John to accept the Magna Carta, sowing the first seeds of constitutional government. In 1926 over 1.5 million strikers brought the nation to its knees. From the Peasants' Revolt to the suffragettes, from Oliver Cromwell to Arthur Scargill, "The English Rebel" describes a rich and continuous tradition of resistance, rebellion and radicalism, of violent and charismatic individuals with axes to grind, and of social eruptions and political earthquakes that have shaped England's whole culture and character. In this groundbreaking and hugely enjoyable book David Horspool assesses their successes and failures, their mythical afterlives and literary legacies. Whether peacefully idealist or murderously wrong-headed, whether shamelessly self-interested or laughably Utopian, working-class or aristocratic, the English are rebels through and through.