1215: The Year of Magna Carta
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 s...more
It does not focus on the politics of 1215, except in brief in the last chapter or so, but looks at what England itself was like in John's reign, and why there was a need felt for such a radical document.
It also, incidentally, indicates why when John was succeeded by a regency for a minor (generally disaster in the medieval period) in 1216, it was an improvement.
Luckily, it's also very interesting, and I found myself anxious for the "how to use a seat belt" speech to end so I could get back to my book. Rather than an indepth look at the Magna Carta, and the players, it's instead a study of the time period and the culture that gave rise to the Magna Carta. What is was like in...more
At the time, though, the stirring words about freedom, found among the latter clauses, weren’...more
È velocisssimo da leggere e non dice niente di nuovo, ma è carino per chi non vuole sobbarcarsi un'intera biografia su bad King John il quale, però, ebbe un regno senza dubbio pieno di rivolgimenti e per niente noioso. Alcune delle cose per le quali viene ricordato: essersi perso i gioielli della Corona nel Wash; aver fatto uccidere il nipote adolescente e...more
The medical science fashionable at the time taught that conception only occurred when male and female sperm coalesced,
and that women produced sperm only as a result of pleasure.
This was why, men said, prostitutes did not get pregnant.
In a mixture of the traditional history of kings and wars with the newer history of everyday life,
1215: The Year of Magna Carta chronicles 12th and 13th century England - a period familiar to you as the reign of King John, brother of Richard the Lion Hea...more
The book was interesting in that it described the environment in which the Charter came about. What life was like during this time, the ineptness of the leadership, and the primal causes for the compromise with the King that was the...more
The book covers the gamut from descriptions of castles, to village life, tournaments, the church, trial by ordeal. Nothing too much in depth, and each chapter has a connection to a clause of the Magna Carta. In that sense it is well laid out, and the actual Magna Carta at th...more
And, yes... whatever your other contributors have said.... this is, without doubt, a great read for those with little knowledge of the Magna Carta and its significance to the way of life of the British Isles as it then was.
However, the story is about the year 1215 itself as well, and the reader relives a fascinating date with history. You feel you are there, just as long...more
The book is a more non-linear, and casual study of life at the time, and the events that lead up to the Magna Carta than it is a straight history. It's more like: family life was like this, this is how the Magna Carta changed it; or, Law and Justice were like this, this...more
Unlike some other reviewers, I really liked the narrative structure. It did not seem choppy to me at all - rather, it was obviously divided into chapters covering different subject matters. T...more
What it does say is interesting, but it doesn't say enough or say it well.
This was the perfect book to learn about the document and the historical context in which it was written. Easy to read, no legal jargon and quite entertaining.