The Magna Carta Story: The Layman's Guide to the Great Charter
Did you know King John didn't sign the Magna Carta? He sealed it. Did you know the rebel barons offered the English throne to Prince Louis of France? If John hadn't died, the British Isles might be part of France today. So why is the Great Charter considered to be the dawn of democracy? Find out in The Magna Carta Story, the layman's guide. It contains all the intrigue, tantrums and civil war, what happened afterwards, and why it's so important.
15 June 2015 was the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and every place that can claim any connection to this famous event put on a show. Some people have never heard of Magna Carta and those that have, usually know very few of the details. Many people think history is boring (including the author!) and so will never attempt to find out more.
The Magna Carta Story is the layman's guide to the Great Charter. The story is told in an accessible way and the text broken up by illustrations. It contains all the intrigue, tantrums and civil war that culminated in Magna Carta, what happened afterwards, and why it's so important. Plus a full translation in an appendix. It is definitely not boring.
Author Ann's interest in local history started when one day she looked at the ruins of Swansea Castle and wondered what it was like when it was lived in. She Googled it and found some fascinating stories, especially the story of Alina de Braose (Breos). Following a major stroke, she spent her recovery time writing a book, Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth.
The second of these books, Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John, tells the story of the rise and fall of a close companion of King John, William de Braose (Breos), an ancestor of Alina. It was John's treatment of William which was the final spark that lit the fire of rebellion, and led to the barons imposing Magna Carta to rein in John's behaviour. Ann has used this as the springboard for The Magna Carta Story.
5 Points of Interest:
1. John believed that under the divine right of kings, he could use people however he liked – and he did.
2. King John didn't sign the Magna Carta – he probably couldn't write. He set his seal to it.
3. The rebel barons offered the English throne to Prince Louis of France.
4. Magna Carta was only in force for a few weeks.
5. King John really did lose the crown jewels in The Wash.
Books by Ann Marie Thomas
This is real history told in a story-telling style accessible to the layman but academically sound. William de Breos rose to a position of great power and influence as a close confidant of King John, but when his wife revealed John's greatest secret John's revenge was brutal. The fall of the de Breos family was the final spark that lit the fire of Magna Carta and led to the offer of the English crown to the prince of France.
Ann had a stroke in work in May 2010. In the long hours in hospital, she began to write poetry on her mobile phone, laboriously one letter at a time. She had written poetry before, but occasionally. Now it poured out of her, 22 poems in all. Verse, doggerel, blank verse. The poems talk about suffering and patience, therapy and faith. If you are a stroke survivor or know someone who is, these poems will comfort, encourage and inspire you.
This is real history told in a way accessible to the layman but academically sound. Alina's husband John took control of the Lordship of Gower in south Wales in 1320, in an attempt to secure her inheritance. But her father had sold it to the king's favourite, and the king took it back. The Marcher Barons sided with John and rebelled against the king. It eventually led to the king's downfall, but Alina and John paid a heavy price.
by Ann Marie Thomas, A M Thomas
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