News stories about the 800th anniveThis is a review of an advance reader's copy (ARC) provided by Viking Books through the Goodreads Giveaway program.
News stories about the 800th anniversary a couple months ago attracted me to this book. I mean I was already vaguely aware it was forced on the hated King John. Plus the Bill of Rights was influenced by it. The hope is to learn something more from this history.
Jones does a good job establishing the political climate in England which led to barons entering into an open revolt and John needing to sign this document. Apparently like the United States Constitution, the Magna Carta was a living document for decades establishing the rights granted to the people in exchange for the king to be able to tax them. The influence centuries later and it has on us even 8 later is remarkable.
Sadly, my main impression of King John is from Disney's Robin Hood movie. And while I know the story of him came later, the real John whining and sucking his thumb feels pretty correct.
Some places were kind of confusing. (The copy has notes not to quote it before the publication date, so I'll refrain from posting too much here.) Guess I can say sometimes a title is mentioned and half a page later a couple given names without context that they are linked to the title.
The text of the Magna Carta at the end was a nice touch. ...more
My familiarity with Gulliver's Travels really was from books as a child and later a couple television miniseries. Ted Danson in Gulliver's Travels inMy familiarity with Gulliver's Travels really was from books as a child and later a couple television miniseries. Ted Danson in Gulliver's Travels in 1996 comes to mind. So I cracked open this book expecting tiny people and giants.
About a third of the way through, I ran into a former coworker and his fiancee. He said a couple things that rocked my world.
First, the company name Yahoo alludes to a race in this book. Having used Yahoo since late 1995, only not having read part 4 kept Swift's concept of Yahoo out of my internal context. Instead, the corporation was to me associated with the exclamation. But maybe that has more to do with the corp's commercials in the late 90s?
Second, that Swift is the father of modern satire. My "Oh s#!t" moment was realizing he also wrote A Modest Proposal. That may have been my favorite piece in British Literature in high school. Understanding this completely changed the second two thirds. Once I understood it to be a critique of European politics and human nature, I was better able to enjoy it....more
Marion played a single role of being almost completely absent. I spent the whole book waiting to see if sThis book was very different from the films.
Marion played a single role of being almost completely absent. I spent the whole book waiting to see if she'd ever show.
The conflict with the Sheriff of Nottingham and Bishop of Hereford are both in the book, but both were scared of Robin. Both knew where Robin lived as they (independently) stayed with Robin several times.
Also, everyone is merry old England is susceptible to not recognizing people who wear clothes out of context.