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1215: The Year of Magna Carta

1215: The Year of Magna Carta

On 15 June 1215, rebel barons forced King John to meet them at Runnymede. They did not trust the King, so he was not allowed to leave until his seal was attached to the charter in front of him.

This was Magna Carta. It was a revolutionary document. Never before had royal authority been so fundamentally challenged. Nearly 800 years later, two of the charter’s sixty-three clauses are still a ringing expression of freedom for mankind: ‘To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay right or justice’. And: ‘No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or in any way ruined, except by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land’.

1215 – The Year of Magna Carta explores what it was like to be alive in that momentous year. Political power struggles are interwoven with other issues – fashion, food, education, medicine, religion, sex. In many areas it was a time of innovation and change. Windmills were erected, spectacles were invented. Dozens of new towns were founded. Oxford became the first university in England, and the great cathedrals of Salisbury and Lincoln were built.

Whether describing matters of state or domestic life, this is a treasure house of a book, rich in detail and full of enthralling insights into the medieval world.
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Genre: Humanities / History

On Sale: 22nd December 2011

Price: £12.99

ISBN-13: 9781444717341

Reviews

A fascinating, readable digest of social history which has "bestseller" written all over it.
Frank McLynn, Non-fiction read of the week, Sunday
After reading it you have a sound grasp of both Plantagenet kingship and everyday life. You also get the wider picture: Saladin in Asia Minor, the fall of Bejing to Genghis Khan...the authors also make us understand what Magna Carta was really about. Danziger and Gillingham have the knack of walking us right into history and making us feel at home...this is a hugely enjoyable window into medieval life.
Independent
An entertaining and informative study about the document widely regarded as the foundation of our liberties. Even more enjoyable than the account of the Magna Carta itself is the depiction of how we were, who we were and how many we were in the crucial year of 1215.
Antonia Fraser, Mail on Sunday
Danziger and Gillingham write clearly and accessibly to bring their slice of history to life...(they) admirably remind us of the chaotic soil in which the first glimmerings of British political freedom took root.
Simon Jenkins, THE SUNDAY TIMES