1215: The Year of Magna Carta

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Simon and Schuster, 2003 - History - 312 pages
84 Reviews
Surveying a broad landscape through a narrow lens, "1215" sweeps readers back eight centuries in an absorbing portrait of life during a time of global upheaval, the ripples of which can still be felt today.

At the center of this fascinating period is the document that has become the root of modern freedom: the Magna Carta. Never before had royal authority been challenged so fundamentally. The Great Charter would become the foundation of the U.S. government and legal system, and nearly eight hundred years later, two of Magna Carta's sixty-three clauses are still a ringing expression of freedom for mankind. But it was also a time of political revolution and domestic change that saw the Crusades, Richard the Lionheart, King John, and -- in legend -- Robin Hood all make their marks on history.

The events leading up to King John's setting his seal to the famous document at Runnymede in June 1215 form this rich and riveting narrative that vividly describes everyday life from castle to countryside, from school to church, and from hunting in the forest to trial by ordeal. For instance, women wore no underwear (though men did), the average temperatures were actually higher than they are now, the austere kitchen at Westminster Abbey allowed each monk two pounds of meat and a gallon of ale "per day," and it was possible to travel from Windsor to the Hampshire coast without once leaving the forest.

Broad in scope and rich in detail, "1215" ingeniously illuminates what may have been the most important year of our history.

 

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Great book, easy to read, flowed very well - Goodreads
Not very interesting and more of a reference. - Goodreads
I found it educational, fascination and very readable. - Goodreads
Easy to read, no legal jargon and quite entertaining. - Goodreads
They break their coverage up into sections (ex. - Goodreads

Review: 1215: The Year of Magna Carta

User Review  - Sheila - Goodreads

It was a very interesting read. A lot about what life was like in that time and what was happening politically. The authors do a very good job in telling the story of the people and The Magna Carta, and keeping the history interesting. Read full review

Review: 1215: The Year of Magna Carta

User Review  - Ted Parkhurst - Goodreads

I found this popular history fascinating. It opens windows on everyday life in 1215, helping the reader understand the social context of the time. For, it points out that most Britons were living in ... Read full review

All 62 reviews »

Contents

Tlxe Englishmans Castle
1
Tlxe Countryside
19
Town 3 7
37
School
57
Family Strife
77
Tournaments and Battles
95
Hunting in the Forest
111
Vie Church
125
A Christian Country
191
Tlte English and the Celts
207
The Wider World
223
Tlxe Great Charter
245
The Myth
267
The Text of Magna Carta
275
Bibliography
291
Acknowledgments
297

King John
141
Tlte Kings Men
159
Trial by Ordeal
175

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About the author (2003)

John Gillingham is emeritus professor of history at the London School of Economics.

Bibliographic information