Mike's Reviews > 1215: The Year of Magna Carta

1215 by Danny Danziger
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's review
Jan 27, 2012

really liked it
Read in January, 2012

The history is well told in a comfortable way. King John was a real SOB, and his ineptitude, coupled with an intense paranoia and corrupt nature, lead to rebellion of the nobility and then to the Magna Carta. The story travels through the in and outs of: patronage, crime and punishment, marriage (not for love usually), ownership of property (or lack thereof), relationships between states, war, and political intrigue. My interest really perked up when the story moved into the genesis of the current legal system. For example, local law enforcement (origin of posse), trial by jury, grand juries, formal judiciary,the practice of the law, and common law. The rationale for the clauses in the Magna Carta are explained, but not painfully so. The book also notes that the 1215 Magna Carta was not the final, and it was not certain that the Magna Carta would survive. If you saw the movies "A Lion in Winter", "Becket", and "Kingdom of Heaven", and liked them, then the story will have a familiar feel. Oh, the primary characters come from the nobility and church. It was as if ordinary or common folk did not exist.

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