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Arise, England: Six Kings and the Making of the English State

Caroline Burt

A lively, new and sweeping history of the rise of the state in Plantagenet England by Caroline Burt and Richard Partington.

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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 ‚Äď including civil war, deposition, the murder of kings and the ruthless execution of rebel lords ‚Äď 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.

Critic Reviews

Arise, England is a brilliant and lucid account of the emergence of the building blocks of the English nation during the Plantagenet years by two of the foremost experts in the field. From the bitter constitutional wrangling of King John and his barons to the upheavals of the Lancastrian revolution in 1399, Burt and Partington show precisely and engagingly why the Middle Ages matter - this is an essential book for anyone interested in this most fascinating era of British history.

Dan Jones, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Plantagenets and The Hollow Crown
Critic Reviews

In brilliantly forensic style, Burt and Partington tell the fascinating story of the English state - kings, people and institutions - across two tumultuous centuries. Arise, England is an absorbing and eye-opening account of what the Plantagenets did for us.

HELEN CASTOR, author of She-Wolves and Blood & Roses
Critic Reviews

The political history of medieval England is often told as the story of discrete reigns. Arise, England by contrast offers a political narrative, detailed and accessible, sweeping across all six reigns between 1199 and 1399. Vivid descriptions of character and acute analyses of immediate situations are intertwined with such themes as the impact of Magna Carta, the evolution of parliament, the expansion of the common law, the transformation of armies, the widening of the political community, and the emerging ideas of the common good which ensured harmony under the best kings and provided a barrier against the tyranny of the worst. Arise, England thus provides an illuminating introduction to a critical phase in the development of the English state.

David Carpenter