Sidney Lanier composed these fragments in Macon, Georgia in 1868. They were planned as parts of a longer planned work. According to the notes in the Complete Works, published posthumously:
Although The Jacquerie remained a fragment for thirteen years Mr. Lanier’s interest in the subject never abated. Far on in this interval he is found planning for leisure to work out in romance the story of that savage insurrection of the French peasantry, which the Chronicles of Froissart had impressed upon his boyish imagination.
The Jacquerie was a popular revolt in late medieval Europe that took place in northern France in 1358, during the Hundred Years' War.