Magna Carta: Origins and Legacy

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Magna Carta is arguably the most famous document in the world. Although it’s unclear how many versions survive, more than thirty documents claim to be “originals” of the “Great Charter.” Can this be? How many surviving Magna Cartas are there, and in which archives can they be seen? What are the important differences among them in appearance and text?

Published on the occasion of the eight hundredth anniversary of Magna Carta, this lavishly illustrated volume draws on recent archival research undertaken by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Magna Carta project. The book reproduces full-color photographs of more than thirty Magna Cartas from around the world, seeking out the originals, as well as some charters not recorded in any of the surviving charter rolls. Taking readers through the story of the charter’s publication in 1215 as part of an agreement between a group of feudal barons and the English king, the book describes how the document was distributed and broadcast to the people. Throughout its rise to one of the most important cornerstones of civil liberties, subsequent versions of Magna Carta also included curious changes, and the book places these changes within historical context.

A beautifully illustrated guide to the publication and long legacy of this document that led to the rule of constitutional law today, Magna Carta: Making and Legacy, written by one of the world’s foremost experts, will be an indispensable resource for those looking to learn more about the charter.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBodleian Library, University of Oxford
Number of pages290
ISBN (Print)9781851243631
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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