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The Jacquerie of 1358

A French Peasants' Revolt

Justine Firnhaber-Baker

Publication Date - 31 October 2022

ISBN: 9780198860310

336 pages
9.2 x 6.1 inches

In Stock


The Jacquerie of 1358 is one of the most famous and mysterious peasant uprisings of the Middle Ages. Beginning in a small village but eventually overrunning most of northern France, the Jacquerie rebels destroyed noble castles and killed dozens of noblemen before being put down in a bloody wave of suppression. The revolt occurred in the wake of the Black Death and during the Hundred Years War, and it was closely connected to a rebellion in Paris against the French crown. The Jacquerie of 1358 resolves long-standing controversies about whether the revolt was just an irrational explosion of peasant hatred or simply an extension of the Parisian revolt. It shows that these opposing conclusions are based on the illusory assumption that the revolt was a united movement with a single goal. In fact, the Jacquerie has to be understood as a constellation of many events that evolved over time. It involved thousands of people, who understood what they were doing in different and changing ways. The story of the Jacquerie is about how individuals and communities navigated their specific political, social, and military dilemmas, how they reacted to events as they unfolded, and how they chose to remember (or to forget) in its aftermath. The Jacquerie of 1358 rewrites the narrative of this tumultuous period and gives special attention to how violence and social relationships were harnessed to mobilize popular rebellion.


  • The first extended study of the Jacquerie in over a century
  • Discusses military and political events connected to the Hundred Years War
  • Includes a comparative discussion with the Jacquerie and other medieval uprisings

About the Author(s)

Justine Firnhaber-Baker, Senior Lecturer, University of St Andrews

Justine Firnhaber-Baker is Senior Lecturer at the University of St Andrews and a former fellow of All Souls College, Oxford University. Her work focuses on violence, politics, and law in late medieval France from a social historical perspective. Her previous book, Violence and the State in Languedoc c. 1250-1400, was published by Cambridge University Press. Her articles have appeared in Past & Present, Speculum, French History, and The Journal of Medieval History.


"Firnhaber-Baker's fine account neatly underlines all these issues in an important and absorbing study which gives as clear and perceptive understanding of the uprising as we are likely to have. This is an accomplished and authoritative study, convincing in its arguments, and a tremendous book." -- Craig Nakashian, De Re Militari: The Society for Medieval History

Table of Contents

    Introduction. Telling Stories: Sources and Approaches
    1. Complaints: The Aftermath of Poitiers
    2. New Marvels: Turning the World Upside Down
    3. An Unheard of Thing: The Massacre at Saint-Leu-d'Esserent
    4. All Masters: From Massacre to Movement
    5. Noisy Terrors: The Violence of the Jacquerie
    6. Captains and Assemblies: The Organization of the Jacquerie
    7. The Non-Nobles: Rebels and their Communities
    8. Strong Enough to Fight the Nobles: The Battles of Meaux and Mello-Clermont
    9. Hatred and Malevolence: The Counter-Jacquerie
    10. Good Love and Hard Words: The Legacy of Revolt
    Conclusion: Forgetting and Remembering the Jacquerie