1215 and All That: A very, very short history of Magna Carta and King John

I have a new Amazon Kindle Single just out, on the story of Magna Carta and King John, who is probably my favourite cowardly drunk of medieval history. And it’s available for just 99p or $1.53 in the United States.

Here’s the blurb: On June 15, 1215 England’s drunken, lecherous, cowardly King John was forced by his leading barons into a peace treaty that would have a profound impact on the country and the world. It came about over discontent with the incompetent monarch, but it established fundamental principles about the rule of law that would spread to the English colonies and worldwide. This Magna Carta, as it became known later that century, would form the basis of the rule of law and due process in England and around the globe.

In this accessible introduction to the subject Ed West explains how the Great Charter came about, and follows the story of the relentlessly cruel and money-obsessed early Plantagenet kings, including John’s permanently angry father Henry and his sadistic maniac of a brother, Richard the Lionheart. Eventually John, after betraying his father and brother, selling his wife, murdering his nephew and losing his French empire through sheer incompetence and weasel-like cowardice, reluctantly agreed to a charter that paved the way for our freedom. And as Winston Churchill put it, the English-speaking world owes ‘far more to the vices of John than to the labours of virtuous sovereigns’.






Comments so far

  1. Can’t resist a bargain, I’ll buy now, read later.

  2. What a great read! Quite informative and engaging throughout. I will be presenting on this book in my college history class!

  3. Brian RL Catt says

    Nothing much has changed really. The serfs just add s0 much more value thanks to technology replacing carbohydrate and renewable energy with intense fossil and nuclear energy that there is much more for the rich to steal and enough to keep the peasants happy so they don’t die in overworked poverty or rise up and chop the elite’s heads off, as they really should have in late 1700’s. Now the elite’s “independnent” bureaucrats rob us from Whitehall offices, with legalised extortion voted into law by a fraudulent veneer of elected democracy numpties for easy reward. Norman lite. Many of the descendents of the murderous Normans who stole our land still claim to own it. Off with their heads for a start. Then the output of Eton and Harrow.

What do you think?