Synopses & Reviews
From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Plantagenets, a short, lively, action-packed history of how the Magna Carta came to be
The Magna Carta is revered around the world as the founding document of Western liberty. Its principles can be found in our Bill of Rights and in the Constitution. But what was this strange document that dwells on tax relief and greater fishing rights, and how did it gain legendary status?
Dan Jones takes us back to 1215, the turbulent year when the Magna Carta was just a peace treaty between Englands King John and a group of self-interested, violent barons who were tired of his high taxes and endless foreign wars. The treaty would fail within two months of its confirmation.
But this important document marked the first time a king was forced to obey his own laws. Joness 1215 follows the story of the Magna Cartas creation, its failure, and the war that subsequently engulfed England and is book that will appeal to fans of microhistories of pivotal years like 1066, 1491, and especially 1776when American patriots, inspired by that long-ago defiance, dared to pick up arms against another English king.
Praise for The Wars of the Roses
“Its not often that a book manages to be both scholarly and a page-turner, but British historian Jones succeeds on both counts in this entertaining follow-up to his bestselling The Plantagenets. . . . He sets a new high-water mark in the current revisionism of the Tudor era.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Jones authoritatively sets the scene for the 15th-century succession crises . . . valiantly pared down for fluid readability.”
"Outstanding . . . A thrilling history of royal intrigues, violent skullduggery and brutal warfare. " Simon Sebag Montefiore
The first Plantagenet king inherited a blood-soaked kingdom from the Normans and transformed it into an empire stretched at its peak from Scotland to Jerusalem. In this epic history, Dan Jones vividly resurrects this fierce and seductive royal dynasty and its mythic world. We meet the captivating Eleanor of Aquitaine, twice queen and the most famous woman in Christendom; her son, Richard the Lionheart, who fought Saladin in the Third Crusade; and King John, a tyrant who was forced to sign Magna Carta, which formed the basis of our own Bill of Rights. This is the era of chivalry, of Robin Hood and the Knights Templar, the Black Death, the founding of Parliament, the Black Prince, and the Hundred Year's War. It will appeal as much to readers of Tudor history as to fans of
Game of Thrones
The author of the New York Times bestseller The Plantagenets and Magna Carta chronicles the next chapter in British history—the historical backdrop for Game of Thrones
The inspiration for the Channel 5 series Britain's Bloody Crown
The crown of England changed hands five times over the course of the fifteenth century, as two branches of the Plantagenet dynasty fought to the death for the right to rule. In this riveting follow-up to The Plantagenets, celebrated historian Dan Jones describes how the longest-reigning British royal family tore itself apart until it was finally replaced by the Tudors.
Some of the greatest heroes and villains of history were thrown together in these turbulent times, from Joan of Arc to Henry V, whose victory at Agincourt marked the high point of the medieval monarchy, and Richard III, who murdered his own nephews in a desperate bid to secure his stolen crown. This was a period when headstrong queens and consorts seized power and bent men to their will. With vivid descriptions of the battles of Towton and Bosworth, where the last Plantagenet king was slain, this dramatic narrative history revels in bedlam and intrigue. It also offers a long-overdue corrective to Tudor propaganda, dismantling their self-serving account of what they called the Wars of the Roses.
From the New York Times–bestselling author of The Plantagenets comes a beautifully produced account of the signing, impact, and legacy of a document that became one of the most influential statements in the history of democracy
On a summer's day in 1215 a beleaguered English monarch met a group of disgruntled barons in a meadow by the river Thames named Runnymede. Beset by foreign crisis and domestic rebellion, King John was fast running out of options. On June 15 he reluctantly agreed to fix his regal seal to a document that would change the world. A milestone in the development of constitutional politics and the rule of law, the "Great Charter" established an Englishman's right to Habeas Corpus and set limits to the exercise of royal power. For the first time a group of subjects had forced an English king to agree to a document that limited his powers by law and protected their rights. Dan Jones's elegant and authoritative narrative of the making and legacy of the Magna Carta is amplified by profiles of the barons who secured it and a full text of the charter in both Latin and English.
About the Author
is the New York Times
bestselling author of The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England,
now a four-part BBC television miniseries, and The Wars of the Roses,
which charts the story of the fall of the Plantagenet dynasty and the improbable rise of the Tudors. Jones lives in London.