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Details about  Ordinary Life in Medieval England 1215AD Year Magna Carta School Church Hunting

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Ordinary Life in Medieval England 1215AD Year Magna Carta School Church Hunting
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1215 The Year of Magna Carta by Danny Danziger & John Gillingham.

DESCRIPTION: Hardback with Dust Jacket: 336 pages. Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Touchstone. Surveying a broad landscape through a narrow lens, "1215" sweeps readers back eight centuries in an absorbing portrait of life during a time of global upheaval, the ripples of which can still be felt today. At the center of this fascinating period is the document that has become the root of modern freedom: the Magna Carta. Never before had royal authority been challenged so fundamentally. The Great Charter would become the foundation of the U.S. government and legal system, and nearly eight hundred years later, two of Magna Carta's sixty-three clauses are still a ringing expression of freedom for mankind. But it was also a time of political revolution and domestic change that saw the Crusades, Richard the Lionheart, King John, and in legend, Robin Hood all make their marks on history.

The events leading up to King John's setting his seal to the famous document at Runnymede in June 1215 form this rich and riveting narrative that vividly describes everyday life from castle to countryside, from school to church, and from hunting in the forest to trial by ordeal. For instance, women wore no underwear (though men did), the average temperatures were actually higher than they are now, the austere kitchen at Westminster Abbey allowed each monk two pounds of meat and a gallon of ale per day, and it was possible to travel from Windsor to the Hampshire coast without once leaving the forest. Broad in scope and rich in detail, "1215" ingeniously illuminates what may have been the most important year of our history.

CONDITION: Absolutely unblemished except there's a small spot at the top edge of the backside of the dustjacket which is slightly damp rippled (covers and pages are absolutely unaffected). The bok is otherwise without defect or blemish. Pages are crisp, clean, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously new and unread. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship.




REVIEW: Broad in scope and rich in detail, "1215: The Year of the Magna Carta" is a vivid exploration of what may have been the most important year of our lives. Danny Danziger was brought up in England and America. Now an award winning columnist for the Sunday Times, he is the author of eight books, including the bestselling "Eton Voices" and "The Year 1000". John Gillingham is professor of history at the London School of Economics and the author of a number of highly-regarded academic works on the Middle Ages, as well as the popular history book "Medieval Britain: An Introduction".


REVIEW: Magna Carta is considered a foundation of modern freedoms, yet it is deeply rooted in the unique facts and political situation of 13th-century England. This excellent study is not only about the document itself but also about the context in which it can be fully understood. Danziger, author of "The Year 1000" and Gillingham, Professor Emeritus of History at the London School of Economics, head each chapter with a passage from the Great Charter and elucidate the daily experience and issues that underlie it.

While the first chapters elaborate on how both average folk and elites lived, worked, hunted, married, studied, played and went to church, later chapters get deeper into the meaning of the document itself. Marvelous details about daily life abound, while myths and misperceptions are firmly swept away. The infamous King John, who signed the Great Charter, moves slowly to center stage against the background stories of his parents, the legendary Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine; his brother Richard Lionheart; and other great figures of the day, both historical and mythical, including Robin Hood and Thomas Becket.

When the reader reaches the climactic chapter, in which the barons force the Charter on John, the document has jumped off the pedestal on which tradition has placed it and become a living thing. The event itself and the details of the document show how age-old practices and last-minute concessions shaped the text (which is included in its entirety). Danziger and Gillingham make it clear that the Magna Carta was not an abstract thesis, but a brilliant response to a particular time and circumstance.

REVIEW: "No vill or man shall be forced to build bridges at river banks, except those who ought to do so by custom and law." The years preceding 1215 in England were bad ones, apparently, for the folks who didn't wish to be press-ganged into building bridges; they weren't much better for those who liked a little variety in their diet, for in those days "the poor virtually fasted every day," even if their simple repasts spared them from the tooth decay that the rich, with their artificial sweeteners, suffered. British historian/writers Danziger and Gillingham take readers on an informal, sometimes even breezy tour of the times, explaining oddments and customs.

Chairs being rare, for instance, visitors to a house were usually seated on daybeds; only an important guest was given the seat of honor, whence the modern term "chairman" or "chair". Danziger and Gillingham linger appreciatively on some of the better aspects of the day, when cathedrals and seats of learning were established and England's holdings were beginning to expand across the waters to France and Ireland. But they don't shy from the less idyllic features of life in Merrie Olde, when slavery may have been abolished but serfdom endured ("economic and social circumstance inevitably meant that some people were less free than others").

Their narrative, which moves along nicely, closes with the rebellion of the English knights against King John, who, most commentators agree, needed to be rebelled against. The result was the Magna Carta, a translation of the complete text of which closes this study (and makes it of extra use for readers seeking good value for their schilling). Danziger and Gillingham suggest that the most important clauses of the Magna Carta concern the requirements for fair trials and judgment by peers, but protection against having to build bridges unwillingly must have been nice, too. A reader-friendly glance at a turning point in history.

REVIEW: A superb account of the year of Magna Carta. Fascinating descriptions of life at the time, and of the surrounding world. The disquisitions on education, medicine and agriculture are informative and delightful. Simply an abundance of useful information and intriguing insights. As stylish a popular social history as one could find. 'Thoroughly enjoyable, a superb insight into life as we lived a thousand years ago.

REVIEW: Do you like history? Have you been searching for a good historical page-turner? Danny Danziger has written the perfect book for you. "1215" takes one of the most important years in Western civilization and delivers an excellent account of the events that occurred. Each chapter highlights a different area of interest, from royalty and politics to popular entertainment activities to the making of the Magna Carta itself. A great way to spend an afternoon, "1215" will transport you to an exciting time in history and leave you begging for more.


REVIEW: Danny Danziger, author of the popular 'In the Year 1000', looks at the way of life of the English during another pivotal year - 1215, the year of the Magna Carta. In many respects, this is a much more important year than 1000 (the subject of one of his other books). In the first place, many people didn't realize it was the year 1000 when it was happening. A similar lack of awareness of the importance of the contemporary events takes place in 1215.

As Danziger and co-author John Gillingham note near the end of the text, 'denounced by the pope, rejected by the king, discarded by the rebels, by the end of 1215 Magna Carta was surely dead.' This was a document that was more important in hindsight and in precedent than in actual effect. The political situation in England was precarious for most participants in 1215, and civil strife close to civil war was not solved with the stroke of the pen or the great seal being stamped onto the parchment of the Magna Carta.

This book looks more at the world of the English in 1215 rather than the document of the Magna Carta itself. In this respect, it parallels in some ways Danziger's earlier book. The authors look at life in castles, country homes of all classes, town dwellings and church institutions. The ways in which family, school, commerce and employment were dealt with are all subjects of concern here. This was still a feudal society, with overlapping hierarchies of church, crown and aristocracy, as well as contentious foreign relations (the kings of England and France still held rival claims over each other's kingdoms).

Danziger and Gillingham develop a world in which the politics of church and state are still vastly intertwined at the highest levels, but the world of the common folk remains little influenced by the great issues of state in a direct sense. On the other hand, there were popular ideas and sentiments that could make themselves felt from the ground up. The legend of Robin Hood is but one example of the ways in which people saw themselves as aspiring to a freedom more present in later constitutional development.

Each chapter of the book opens with a clause or statement taken from the Magna Carta, and thus the great document holds the organising principle for the text. It is somewhat ironic, as the authors discuss, that the main text of what we consider the Magna Carta (and the one that carried the force of law in Britain from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century) was in fact a revised edition drawn up in 1225. One gets the sense that this is a document that helps establish basic rights we take for granted, including freedom from capricious tyranny and the right to protest. 'Although there is not a word in it about the right to protest, there is a sense in which Magna Carta in its entirety represents protest.'

However, it is the Magna Carta's myth more than its substance that carries the main weight of its legacy. While the idea of the Magna Carta certainly shaped later legal and constitutional development throughout the English-speaking world, Danziger and Gillingham do a reasonably convincing job at showing that the document was in fact more a reflection of its world than a dramatic reformation of it. This is a popular history text; it has some useful bibliographic information, but does not employ footnotes, endnotes, or other more academic devices in the text. The writing is accessible, informative and more than occasionally lively.

REVIEW: On June 15, 1215, facing a rebellion of his barons, King John of England (yep, the villain of the Robin Hood movie, but that's a different subject) was forced to the conference table, and signed an historic charter, the Magna Carta. Widely believed to be the very root of Anglo-Saxon, and later World, democracy, Magna Carta is venerated by many. But, what do you really know about Magna Carta?

In this fascinating book, the authors look at England in 1215, and give the reader an wonderfully in-depth understanding of what life was like at that time, what was going on in England and the rest of Europe, and finally gives the story of Magna Carta, the myths that have grown up around it and even its wording. Every once in a while a book comes along that surprises me with its excellence - well, this is one of those books! The authors do an excellent job of giving the reader a feel for life in the thirteenth century, really bringing it to life. I enjoyed every page of this fascinating history book, and highly recommend it to everyone who enjoys reading a good book!

REVIEW: Ironically, the Magna Carta was a failed bit when first signed by King John in 1215. It truly came into prominence in 1225, and its importance grew with the passing years. It has now long been considered a landmark in the evolution of individual rights and freedoms. Danziger and Gillingham present a sweeping overview of the changes in culture, politics, and religion that led to the creation of this important document. They set the stage for understanding the purpose and meaning of the Magna Carta in the time of its origin. The full text of this significant charter is included at the end of the book.

The authors do a great job of presenting the chain of events leading up to the rebellion against King John. Land rights for the rich were clearly center stage during the writing of the Magna Carta. But because this was a new kind of rebellion (one without an alternative king to sponsor), the barons found it necessary to add the clauses protecting the rights of all men so they could feel justified in their rebellion. The descriptions of everyday life for the rich and poor highlight the issues that the Magna Carta was meant to address. The actual clauses in the charter come alive when presented in context.

Understanding the era is key, such as knowing why so much of England was designated as 'forest' land, whether or not it actually contained a real forest. The authors also debunk a few common myths about the times such as the idea that people thought the world was flat. Full of fun, interesting facts about life around the 1200s, none of the information will be new for students of the era. However, the book succeeds marvelously as a popular history. I recommend this captivating portrayal of a fascinating time period to anyone with even a passing interest in history.

REVIEW: Having recently read this author's other book on the year 1000 I was interested to read how much had changed in the years since. One thing that stands out is the sheer volume of information available for 1215 as opposed to the year 1000. Prior to this I had never thought the early Middle Ages as well documented, but by comparison to earlier centuries there is an amazing wealth of documentation still available.

This book clearly outlines the massive changes in society that took place in England in those centuries and the gradual accumulation of wealth in society. It also gives a clear outline why King John was seen as "bad" and how the Magna Carta was the result of discontent and bad management on the King's behalf. Issues around misconceptions that have built up about this document over the centuries are also addressed.

By the end of the book you feel you have a good outline of what it might have been like to live in those times and an appreciation for how seemingly small events can snowball into to larger ones that can affect us all. This is a highly recommended book for history lovers, that is presented in plain English and easy to read format. It's not aimed towards academia, but rather the general reader, and you don't need to know anything about this era before you start this book.

REVIEW: Take a trip back to 1215. Read this book. Although not academic history, this popular book makes the people and times of 1215 seem as real as today. 1215 was a different world than our own, but it's the similarities and continuities that are intriguing. Take the trip.

I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site and free insurance coverage). A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher.

Most international orders cost an additional $23.99 for insured USPS global priority mail (padded flat rate envelope) with delivery confirmation. Rates vary a bit from country to country, and not all books will fit into a USPS global priority mail flat rate envelope. Some international orders can be sent standard airmail for less. There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers.

All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs).

Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology.

I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."

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