1215 and All That: Magna Carta and King John

1215 and All That: Magna Carta and King John

by Ed West

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1215 is one of the most famous dates in English history, and with good reason, since it marks the signing of the Magna Carta by King John and the English barons, which altered the entire course of English and world history.

John Lackland was born to King Henry II and Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitane in December, 1166; he was the youngest of five sons. However, he unexpectedly became the favored heir to his father after a failed rebellion by his older brothers in 1173. He became king in 1199, though his reign was tumultuous and short. After a brief peace with Phillip II of France, war broke out again in 1202 and King John lost most of his holdings on the continent. This, coupled with unpopular fiscal policies and treatment of nobles back home, led to conflict upon his return from battle. Buffeted from all sides, King John was pushed in 1215 to sign along with his barons the Magna Carta, a precursor to constitutional governance. But both sides failed to uphold the agreements terms and conflict quickly resumed, leading to John’s untimely death a year later to dysentery.

Pitched at newcomers to the subject, 1215 and All That will explain how King John’s rule and, in particular, his signing of the Magna Carta changed England—and the English—forever, introducing readers to the early days of medieval England. It is the third book in the acclaimed A Very, Very Short History of England series, which captures the major moments of English history with humor and bite.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510719927
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 10/10/2017
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 44,806
File size: 571 KB

About the Author

Ed West is a full-time author. He blogs for the Spectator and has written for the Daily Telegraph, Times, Evening Standard, Daily Express, and Guardian. Ed is a former deputy editor of the Catholic Herald and a popular British Twitter personality. He currently lives in London.
Ed West is the recently appointed associate director of UK2020, a British policy think tank. Before that, Ed was deputy editor of the Catholic Herald and a frequent contributor to the Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard, Daily Express, and the Guardian. He is a popular British twitter personality and blogs for the Spectator. He currently lives in London.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Chapter 1 Henry I's Charter 1

Chapter 2 The Family from Hell 7

Chapter 3 Twelve Angry Men 21

Chapter 4 A Lowborn Cleric 29

Chapter 5 The War without Love 43

Chapter 6 The Lionheart and the Crusades 59

Chapter 7 A King's Ransom 73

Chapter 8 Stealing from the Rich 81

Chapter 9 Not as Bad as Hitler or Stalin 89

Chapter 10 John vs. God 105

Chapter 11 The Northerners 117

Chapter 12 No Freeman Shall Be Arrested 127

Chapter 13 Parliament 139

Chapter 14 The Legacy of Magna Carta 153

Chapter 15 Magna Carta Today 161

Bibliography 165

Endnotes 167

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