Rhythms of Revolt: European Traditions and Memories of Social Conflict in Oral Culture: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Rhythms of Revolt: European Traditions and Memories of Social Conflict in Oral Culture

1st Edition

Edited by Éva Guillorel, David Hopkin, William G. Pooley


428 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780367232061
pub: 2019-02-07
SAVE ~$9.99
Hardback: 9781138205048
pub: 2017-10-26
SAVE ~$37.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315467856
pub: 2017-10-23
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


The culture of insurgents in early modern Europe was primarily an oral one; memories of social conflicts in the communities affected were passed on through oral forms such as songs and legends. This popular history continued to influence political choices and actions through and after the early modern period. The chapters in this book examine numerous examples from across Europe of how memories of revolt were perpetuated in oral cultures, and they analyse how traditions were used. From the German Peasants’ War of 1525 to the counter-revolutionary guerrillas of the 1790s, oral traditions can offer radically different interpretations of familiar events. This is a ‘history from below’, and a history from song, which challenges existing historiographies of early modern revolts. 


'This substantial and impressive volume is exceptionally well-constructed, covering a wide range of relevant material. This is an intellectually coherent, interesting and important collection which should make an impact and be consulted for many years to come.'

Andrew Hadfield, University of Sussex, UK

This is a book abundant in fascinating case studies, creative collisions, and consistently ferocious scholarship by both its editors and contributors. It is provocative in the best possible sense, asking stimulating questions and providing enough evidence of its claims to energize a major field of historical enquiry.

Oskar Cox Jensen - Folk Music Journal

Table of Contents

Introduction: Oral Cultures and Traditions of Social Conflict: An Introduction to Sources and Approaches (Éva Guillorel and David Hopkin) 1. Political Songs and Memories of Rebellion in the Later Medieval Low Countries (Jan Dumolyn and Jelle Haemers) 2. Remembering the Peasants’ War in the Vosges: The Song of Rosemont (Georges Bischoff) 3. Competing Memories of a Swiss Revolt: the Prism of the William Tell Legend (Marc H. Lerner) 4. Songs as Echoes of Rebellion in Early Modern Brittany (Donatien Laurent and Michel Nassiet) 5. Turning Sacrilege into Victory. Catholic Memories of Calvinist Iconoclasm in the Low Countries, 1566-1700 (Erika Kuijpers and Judith Pollmann) 6. Orality and Popular Revolts in Louis XIV’s France: What makes the Camisards Special? (Philippe Joutard) 7. Popular Memory and Early Modern Revolts in Russia: From Razin to Pugačev (Malte Griesse) 8. An Chaoimhniadh Chomhachtaigh agus Séamus an Chaca (Worthy Knight/Worthless Shite): James II and His War in Irish Vernacular Literature and Folk Memory (Éamonn Ó Ciardha) 9. Melody as a Bearer of Radical Ideology: English Enclosures, The Coney Warren and Mobile Clamour (Gerald Porter) 10. Sing Out! Political and Commemorative Uses of Counter-Revolutionary Singing in Brittany (Youenn Le Prat) 11. The Floating Parliament: Ballads of the British Naval Mutinies of 1797 (Roy Palmer) 12. Lost Voices? Memories of Early Modern Peasant Revolts in Post-Emancipation Estonia (Kersti Lust) 13. The Enigma of Roddy McCorley Goes to Die: Forgetting and Remembering a Local Rebel Hero in Ulster (Guy Beiner) Conclusion: Popular Revolts and Oral Traditions (Peter Burke)

About the Editors

Éva Guillorel is a lecturer in early modern history at the University of Caen Normandie. She studied history, ethnology, and Celtic languages at the universities of Rennes and Brest, and was awarded her doctorate in 2008. In 2012-13 she was a British Academy funded Newton Fellow, attached to the University of Oxford, and this book is one of the outcomes of that fellowship.

David Hopkin studied history at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. He was a Junior Research Fellow at Churchill College from 1997 to 1999 and lecturer, then senior lecturer, in the Department of Economic and Social History, University of Glasgow, from 1999. He joined the University of Oxford and Hertford College in 2005.

William G. Pooley is a lecturer in 19th/20th Century Western European History at the University of Bristol, having previously studied at the Universities of Oxford and Utah State. His research focuses on the folklore collections of the long nineteenth century.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General