A Parliament Full of Rats? Piers Plowman and the Good Parliament of 1376
This article reconsiders the relationship between PPl and the political events of the later fourteenth century. Its contention is that PPl articulates a profound sense of disappointment in the inability of the late-medieval English parliament to rectify the woes of the kingdom. This disillusionment was generated not only by the reversal of the measures taken against the court in the Good Parliament of 1376, but also by a much broader context of failure by the Crown to address the petitions presented in parliament by the political community. Ultimately, it was parliament’s failure to deliver institutional remedies to these longstanding problems that set the conditions for the ‘direct action’ of the rebels in the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. (GD; from the abstract in the journal)
Historical Research, 79 (2006), 21–49.