Stephen Basdeo has just published a history book entitled The Life and Legend of a Rebel Leader: Wat Tyler (2018). It examines the life of the leader of the Peasants’ Revolt, Wat Tyler, who led an army of 50,000 commoners to London to demand an end to the hated poll tax and an end to serfdom. Tyler was executed for his actions but a number of writers and activists retold his story in succeeding centuries, especially at times of growing public discontent. As Basdeo argues, whenever Wat Tyler’s name was invoked by the people, the establishment usually had something to fear.

Stephen Basdeo is an instructor at Leeds RIASA. He is the author of several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters which explore the history of various famous figures from the Middle Ages, including Robin Hood and the Viking, Ragnar Lodbrok. He is currently drafting an article on the first Robin Hood novel, which is an unpublished manuscript by Robert Southey entitled Harold; or, The Castle of Morford (1794).