1215: The Year of the Magna Carta by Danny Danzinger
Okay. This is the same guy who wrote the Year 1000.
And no, I haven't read that book but I am going to.
So, if you like history, British History specifically, this book is for you.
I happen to like history, especially British History.
It covers the year 1215 and the events that lead up to the Magna Carta.
In addition to the politics of the various French, Spanish, and British courts, it also highlights the life of the locals - everything from their housing to what they eat and drink. It also talks about daily life of the serfs and the tenants of the courts and how the kingdoms and feifdoms were divided.
Everything I missed in history class in the seventh grade when we discussed medieval England was covered in this book. So if you have kids who are studying this topic in school and they are grousing about it, let them. The bottom line is that almost all of us never appreciate a topic that is not personally deemed as "fun" or "interesting" and we dub such as nothing more than painful and punishing. However, if they are of a mind to, they will grow interest in many of those topics when they are older. And like I did, they will pick up a book and their eyes will open wide and recall those tedious seventh grade lessons. British history is like that for me.
Anyway, it was a very good book. It tended to drag in parts when they talked about the court politics (politics are politics, after all) and sometimes I couldn't remember which king was killed by which brother. But much of it was interesting for me.
Also, I now understand what Runnymeade is about and how the ABA (yes, that's right, our very own AMERICAN Bar Association) would be motivated to put a plaque there. This is more significant because we went to Runnymeade on our way to Windsor Castle during out UK trip last spring. And the descriptions brought it vividly back to mind, in full color.
Really good book.
I stop short of saying it is great because, well, it's basically a history lesson!
Labels: Book Review