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Wednesday 21 January 2015

Democracy Day - 750 years since Simon de Montfort's 1265 parliament

Westminster Abbey Chapter House
Magna Carta Project members appeared on BBC radio and television this week as part of BBC's Democracy Day (20 January) - a series of commemorations inspired by the anniversary of Simon de Montfort's famed parliament of 1265. Commemorations began on 19 January, when Louise Wilkinson appeared on Woman's Hour to talk about Eleanor de Montfort, wife of Simon de Montfort and sister of Henry III. Louise explained Eleanor's perspective on events and her role in the politics of the period. You can listen to this episode of Woman's Hour here, via the BBC website. 

On the same day, the BBC website published an article to which David Carpenter contributed: 'Simon de Montfort: The turning point for democracy that gets overlooked', explaining the significance of the 1265 parliament. You can read David's comments here. He contributed to an article giving a Welsh perspective on events, was interviewed for BBC Wales television and appeared on Good Morning Wales. He also gave live interviews for the BBC international service, as well as for BBC Arabic and Persian. David was also featured on Australian SBS Wolrd News. Later he also spoke on Hereford and Worcester local radio and on the Mark Forrest Show, which goes out across BBC local radio. You can view a video that David made for UK Parliament at Westminster Abbey Chapter House here

Sophie Ambler gave live interviews in Westminster Hall on BBC Breakfast, and also appeared in a special feature for BBC Parliament and Daily Politics, a radio version of which was also aired on the Today Programme. She also contributed a guest blog for the History of Parliament, which was featured on the Guardian live politics blog.

You can read Sophie's feature on Simon de Montfort's 1265 parliament, in which Magna Carta was confirmed, on the Magna Carta Project website, as well as David's recent article showcasing a new discovery about the changes made to Magna Carta by Montfort during the parliament. 

Sunday 11 January 2015

Launch party for David Carpenter's Magna Carta

9th January saw the launch party for David Carpenter’s Magna Carta. The party took place in the Weston Room of King’s Maughan Library on Chancery Lane.

You can view David's Magna Carta on Amazon, and read his essay 'Magna Carta 800 years on' on The Guardian website.
Alice Taylor (KCL) introduces David
David with staff, past and present, from the National Archives. L-R: Nick Barratt, Paul Dryburgh, David Carpenter, Jess Nelson, David Crook, Sean Cunningham

Monday 5 January 2015

Magna Carta series on BBC Radio 4

This week members of the Magna Carta Project will appear in a four-part series on Magna Carta broadcast on BBC Radio 4. The series, beginning on Monday 5th January at 09.00, opens with an episode on ‘The Road to Runnymede’. It will feature MCP Principal Investigator Nicholas Vincent and Co-investigators David Carpenter and Louise Wilkinson, as well as British Library lead curator and MCP member Claire Breay. The team will discuss with host Melvyn Bragg the background to the Charter. Programmes 2, 3 and 4 will be broadcast on the following three days. 

You can find out more about the series, and access podcasts after the programmes' broadcast, on the BBC website.

Friday 2 January 2015

David Carpenter's 'Magna Carta' is published with Penguin Classics

1 January 2015 saw the publication of David Carpenter’s new book, Magna Carta, with Penguin Classics. The book provides a new translation of the Charter, presented with original chapter divisions that throw new light on how Magna Carta was understood by contemporaries. 

Reading the text closely, David shows for the first time how the Charter reflected divisions in early-thirteenth society. He also explains the ideas behind the agreement as well as giving a new narrative for the events leading up to Runnymede.

In preparing his book, David has been tracking down copies of Magna Carta 1215, as well as later issues, in medieval records – research that has revealed the existence of numerous drafts of the Charter that were carried off from Runnymede. David’s catalogue of Magna Carta copies can be viewed on the Magna Carta Project Website.

The release of David’s book was featured in a BBC News article by Nick Higham: Just how important is Magna Carta 800 years on?

David has also written an article for the Guardian, which highlights some of his findings.

Together with fellow Magna Carta Project members Nicholas Vincent and Claire Breay, David will be taking part in a four part series on Magna Carta to be aired BBC Radio 4 in January 2015.

Click here to view David’s Magna Carta on Amazon.