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King John : And the Road to Magna Carta (Hardcover) (Stephen Church)

King John : And the Road to Magna Carta (Hardcover) (Stephen Church) - image 1 of 1

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King John (1166-1216) has long been seen as the epitome of bad kings. The son of the most charismatic couple of the middle ages, Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and younger brother of the heroic crusader king, Richard the Lionheart, John lived much of his life in the shadow of his family. When in 1199 he became ruler of his family’s lands in England and France, John proved unequal to the task of keeping them together. Early in his reign he lost much of his continental possessions, and over the next decade would come perilously close to losing his English kingdom, too.In King John, medieval historian Stephen Church argues that John’s reign, for all its failings, would prove to be a crucial turning point in English history. Though he was a masterful political manipulator, John’s traditional ideas of unchecked sovereign power were becoming increasingly unpopular among his subjects, resulting in frequent confrontations. Nor was he willing to tolerate any challenges to his authority. For six long years, John and the pope struggled over the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury, a clash that led to the king’s excommunication.As king of England, John taxed his people heavily to fund his futile attempt to reconquer the lands lost to the king of France. The cost to his people of this failure was great, but it was greater still for John. In 1215, his subjects rose in rebellion against their king and forced upon him a new constitution by which he was to rule. The principles underlying this constitutionenshrined in the terms of Magna Cartawould go on to shape democratic constitutions across the globe, including our own.In this authoritative biography, Church describes how it was that a king famous for his misrule gave rise to Magna Carta, the blueprint for good governance.
King John has long been dubbed one of the ?vilest? of English kings. He was brutish, untrustworthy, and ruled as a virtual tyrant?and yet his reign changed the course of English history. As renowned medieval historian Stephen Church argues, John?s importance has for too long been overshadowed by more heroic family members like Richard the Lionhearted and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

John was a skilled political manipulator, but his traditional belief in the unchecked power of the sovereign became increasingly unpopular during his reign, leading to frequent confrontations between the king and his barons. In 1215, a group of barons rebelled in response to John?s repressive fiscal policies. The peace treaty that resulted was the Magna Carta, which enshrined the king?s obligation to rule within the framework of the law.

King John offers an authoritative portrait of King John and the moment that signaled the end of the age of absolute monarchy and the dawn of constitutional law.

Number of Pages: 300
Genre: History
Sub-Genre: History
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Perseus Books Group
Author: Stephen Church
Language: English
Street Date: April 7, 2015
TCIN: 16997737
UPC: 9780465092994
Item Number (DPCI): 247-44-2219
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$25.49
MSRPReg: $29.99 Save $4.50 (15% off)
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