Tuesday, July 29, 2008

1215 The Year of the Magna Carta - Danny Danziger & John Gillingham

1215 The Year Of The Magna Carta
Danny Danziger & John Gillingham
Coronet
Copyright: 2003
ISBN: 9780340824751

Despite the title, 1215 isn't as much about the Magna Carta as it is about what led up to it in the previous years, such as the behavior of King John. There is a lot about what life was like in the period in Britain: wedding rituals, the structure of the church, clothing etc, incomes and how much things were worth and the like.

If you are simply curious as to what life was like in the period, this is a good book and very readable. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of life, such as 'School' or 'The Countryside'.

1215 was a good book, with lots of good information, but I wouldn't use it in research for any classes. This is it's biggest downfall in my mind. The authors don't give detailed sources and when they quotes a chronicler, they doesn't give a specific translation with page numbers or any other locating marks, something that any student is required to give in their papers.

On the whole though, I liked 1215 The Year Of The Magna Carta, and considering it was a bargain book, I think it was worth what I paid for it.

Other medieval history books I've reviewed:
Pilgrimages - John Ure
The Worlds Of Medieval Europe - Clifford R. Backman
Reading The Middle Ages - Barbara Rosenwein
The Crusades - A Very Short Introduction - Christopher Tyerman
Life In A Medieval Village - Francis And Joseph Gies
By Sword And Fire - Sean McGlynn
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