Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Book Review | Magna Carta: The Making and Legacy of the Great Charter

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Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

So I don't really have anything new to say about this book that I did not already say in the review of this edition (with the US cover), but I wanted to post a little something anyway, because this edition has such stunning artwork. It kind of bums me out that UK covers are ALMOST ALWAYS better than the US covers. I think the only one I would say the opposite for is Jones' most recent book about the Crusades.

I'm pretty obsessed with medieval manuscripts, and in awe of the all the time and energy that went into creating just one book. I was fortunate enough to see the Book of Kells when Mom and I were in Dublin about ten years ago, and seeing something so beautiful in person is breathtaking. In a trip before the Dublin one when we were gallivanting around Scotland and England, one of our day-trips was supposed to involve a stop at Salisbury Cathedral to view a copy of Magna Carta, but we were diverted to Windsor Castle instead due to a sudden closure. I was terribly disappointed both in not seeing Magna Carta, but also because nearly everything at Windsor was closed because the Queen was KNIGHTING PEOPLE THAT DAY. First no Magna Carta. Then no St. George's Chapel, where I was planning on giving Henry VIII an earful.

This is definitely a great addition to medieval collection you might have, or a Dan Jones collection like I might have. Recommended.


  1. you actually got to see the Book of Kells!! i am overwhelmingly envious... they sent me a flyer when that company whose name i forgot reproduced it in facsimile and wanted me to buy a copy which i would have jumped at in a proverbial NY second if they hadn't wanted $3000 for it... it's amazing that the old monks had the patience and the skill to do something like that...

    1. It's GORGEOUS! I saw it in 2010, and they had it in a large glass display so several people all around the rectangle of the case could view it at one time, so it was not like you were shoved through a line, got a quick peek, and were shoved through the exit. I highly recommend seeing it if you can, plus Trinity College. A big fat no to a $3000 copy, no matter how good that copy is!

  2. I saw a copy (ancient too!) of Magna Carta in Salisbury Cathedral years ago during a visit. I also bought it on a T-shirt (because why not, right?)

    Oh, and one of my fave childhood jokes- Q: Where was Magna Carta signed? A: At the bottom.

    1. I AM SO JEALOUS! I wanted soooooo badly to go to Salisbury. Stupid repairs. And Stupid Windsor being mostly closed. Luckily, Mom and I wandered around Stonehenge and Bath for ages and that kind of made up for it a little.


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