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Magna Carta

3rd Edition


  • Date Published: May 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107471573

$ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • A revised edition of J. C. Holt's classic study of Magna Carta, the Great Charter, offering the most authoritative analysis of England's most famous constitutional text. The book sets the events of 1215 and the Charter itself in the context of the law, politics and administration of England and Europe in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Additionally, a lengthy new introduction by two of Holt's former pupils, George Garnett and John Hudson, examines a range of issues raised by scholarship since publication of the second edition in 1992. These include the possible role of Archbishop Stephen Langton; the degree of influence of Roman and Canon Law upon those who drafted the Charter; other aspects of the intellectual setting of the Charter, in particular political thinking in London; the Continental context of the events of 1212–15; and the legal and jurisdictional issues that affected the Charter's clauses on justice.

    • The new edition of a classic and uniquely authoritative account of the context and significance of Magna Carta
    • The best introduction to government in the twelfth century, developing much more subtle approaches to the history of politics and administration
    • A profound study of the reign of one of England's most notorious kings, King John, encouraging debate on the qualities required of political leadership
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'There are … some valuable additions and corrections made by the coeditors of the edition, George Garnett and John Hudson. … The editors have updated the references to take account of recent scholarship, tweaked the translation of Magna Carta provided in an appendix, and provided new translations of some key documents that were included in earlier editions only in their Latin form. The most important addition to the third edition is a new thirty-two-page introduction that assesses the historiographical significance of the work's first two editions and considers how it relates to more recent scholarship.' James Masschaele, Speculum

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    Product details

    • Edition: 3rd Edition
    • Date Published: May 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107471573
    • length: 486 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.79kg
    • contains: 11 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The Charter and its history
    2. Government and society in the twelfth century
    3. Privilege and liberties
    4. Custom and law
    5. Justice and jurisdiction
    6. Crisis and civil war
    7. Quasi Pax
    8. The quality of the Great Charter
    9. The achievement of 1215
    10. From distraint to war
    11. The re-issues and the beginning of the myth

  • Author

    J. C. Holt, University of Cambridge
    Sir James Holt FBA was Professor of Medieval History, University of Cambridge, and Master of Fitzwilliam College from 1981–8. He died in 2014.

    Preface by

    George Garnett, University of Oxford
    George Garnett is a Fellow and Tutor of St Hugh's College, Oxford. He is the author of Conquered England: Kingship, Succession, and Tenure, 1066–1166, Marsilius of Padua and 'the Truth of History', and The Norman Conquest: A Very Short Introduction. He was also joint editor, with John Hudson, of Law and Government in Medieval England and Normandy: Essays in Honour of Sir James Holt.

    John Hudson, University of St Andrews, Scotland
    John Hudson is Professor of Legal History at the University of St Andrews and William W. Cook Global Law Professor at University of Michigan Law School. His books include The Formation of the English Common Law and The Oxford History of the Laws of England, Volume 2: 871–1216. He was also joint editor, with George Garnett, of Law and Government in Medieval England and Normandy: Essays in Honour of Sir James Holt.

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