This new history is the first to tell the story of Magna Carta ‘through the ages’. No other general work traces its continuing importance in England’s political consciousness. Many books have examined the circumstances surrounding King John’s grant of Magna Carta in 1215. Very few trace the Charter’s legacy to subsequent centuries and even fewer look at the fate of the physical document. Turner also underlines its great influence outside the United Kingdom, especially in North America. Today, the Charter enjoys greater prestige in the United States, the land of lawyers, than in Britain. U.S. citizens claim Magna Carta as a source of their liberties, guaranteeing ‘due process of law’ and condemning ‘executive privilege’.
Introduction: Magna Carta: disentangling history from myth 1. England under the Angevin kings: Henry II and his sons, Richard I and John 2. King John's reign 3. The making and unmaking of Magna Carta, 1215 4. The first century of Magna Carta 5. Magna Carta in the later middle ages and the Tudor period 6. Magna Carta's revival in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries 7. Magna Carta in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries 8. Magna Carta in the New World Works cited in notes Other useful works Index