The modern English countryside is the result of centuries of environmental change and brutal class struggle. Modern agriculture, the food we eat and how it is produced, is a direct result of these historic and frequently overlooked battles. Martin Empson rescues these forgotten moments of history. From the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 to the Pilgrimage of Grace and Robert Kett’s rebellion; from protests against enclosure and food riots to Captain Swing and the Tolpuddle Martyrs – here is the story of how rural labourers resisted the development of capitalism, fought to control their land and labour and eventually built trade unions to fight for their rights
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