Magna Carta: History and Meaning
with Professor Nigel Saul (University of London)
at Sutton Hoo, Saturday, 16th May, 2015.magna carta

Magna Carta is perhaps the most famous document in history. The course will examine how it came to be made – and, more especially, how it came to be made permanent – what it actually says, and how it took on the character of the world’s greatest symbol of freedom.

Provisional Programme

09.50 – 10.15:         Coffee on arrival

10.15 – 11.15:         Bad King John and the Making of the Charter

11.15 – 11.40:         Coffee break

11.40 – 12.40:         What does the Charter say? And what does it mean?

12.40 – 14.00:         Lunch break

14.00 – 14.50:         Was Magna Carta a success or a failure?

14.50 – 15.10:        Tea break

15.10 – 16.00:         The Charter as an icon of freedom

c.16.00:                   Thanks and Close

About Professor Nigel Saul

Nigel Saul is Professor of Medieval History at Royal Holloway, University of London, and a member of the Magna Carta 800 Committee which is co-ordinating the anniversary celebrations. He has published extensively on the history of medieval England, his most recent book being For Honour and Fame. Chivalry in England, 1066-1500 (London: Bodley Head, 2011). In 2013 he was historical consultant to the BBC4 series Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years War. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the magazine History Today.

Some Suggestions for Optional Background Reading

(All the books listed below publish full translations of the Charter.)

Arlidge and I. Judge, Magna Carta Uncovered (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2015)

David Carpenter, Magna Carta (Penguin Classics, 2015)

J.C. Holt, Magna Carta (Cambridge University Press, 2nd edn., 1992)

Jones, Magna Carta: the Making and Legacy of the Great Charter (London: Head of Zeus, 2014)

R.V. Turner, Magna Carta through the Ages (Harlow: Pearson, 2003)

Vincent, Magna Carta: a Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2012)

There are also extensive bibliographies and other resources on the Magna Carta 800 website: