King John

King John

Treachery and Tyranny in Medieval England : the Road to Magna Carta

Book - 2015
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WW Norton
King John is familiar to everyone as the villain from the tales of Robin Hood—greedy, cowardly, despicable, and cruel. But who was the man behind the legend? Was he truly a monster, or a capable ruler cursed by bad luck? In this new book bestselling historian Marc Morris draws on contemporary chronicles and the king's own letters to bring the real King John vividly to life.John was dynamic, inventive and relentless, but also a figure with terrible flaws. In two interwoven stories, we see how he went from being a youngest son with limited prospects to the ruler of the greatest dominion in Europe, an empire that stretched from the Scottish border to the Pyrenees. His rise to power involved treachery, rebellion and murder. His reign saw oppression on an almost unprecedented scale: former friends hounded into exile and oblivion; Wales, Scotland and Ireland invaded; the greatest level of financial exploitation since the Norman Conquest. A quarrel with the pope led to the king being excommunicated and England being placed under Interdict. John's tyrannical rule climaxed in conspiracy and revolt, and his leading subjects famously forced him to issue Magna Carta, a document binding him and his successors to behave better in future. The king's rejection of the charter led to civil war and foreign invasion, bringing his life to a disastrous close.Authoritative and dramatic, Marc Morris's King John offers a compelling portrait of an extraordinary man, whose reign marked a momentous turning point in the history of Britain and Europe.
A rousing and authoritative new biography of the notorious King John, by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Marc Morris.

Baker & Taylor
An authoritative and dramatic new biography paints a vivid picture of the real King John through two interwoven stories, which reveal a dynamic, inventive, relentless and terribly flawed man whose rejection of the Magna Carta led to civil war, foreign invasion and his own demise. By the national best-selling author of The Norman Conquest.

Book News
Historian Marc Morris presented the television series Castle; he has written history for general readers, including The Norman Conquest. Here, he offers a biography of King John, best known as the villain of the Robin Hood tales, and his role in the history of the Magna Carta. The book details King John’s rise to power and examples of his oppression as he levied harsh fines and taxes and murdered those against him. The revolt against him led to the Magna Carta, a document creating rules for kings. The book includes a translation of the 1215 Magna Carta, along with color photos of castles and b&w maps. Distributed by W.W. Norton. Annotation ©2016 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

Draws on contemporary evidence, as well as the king's own letters, to dispel the common myths surrounding the reign of King John, discussing his tyrannical rule and the imposition of Magna Carta.
King John is one of those historical characters who needs little in the way of introduction. If readers are not already familiar with him as the tyrant whose misgovernment gave rise to Magna Carta, we remember him as the villain in the stories of Robin Hood. Formidable and cunning, but also cruel, lecherous, treacherous and untrusting. Twelve years into his reign, John was regarded as a powerful king within the British Isles.

Publisher: New York : Pegasus Books, c2015
ISBN: 9781605988856
Branch Call Number: 942.033 MOR
Characteristics: xiv, 382 p., [8] p. of plates :,ill. (chiefly col.), maps, geneal. table ;,23 cm.


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