By Danny Danziger
Surveying a vast panorama via a slim lens, "1215" sweeps readers again 8 centuries in an soaking up portrait of existence in the course of a time of world upheaval, the ripples of which may nonetheless be felt today.
At the heart of this attention-grabbing interval is the rfile that has develop into the basis of contemporary freedom: the Magna Carta. by no means sooner than had royal authority been challenged so essentially. the nice constitution may turn into the basis of the U.S. executive and criminal procedure, and approximately 8 hundred years later, of Magna Carta's sixty-three clauses are nonetheless a ringing expression of freedom for mankind. however it used to be additionally a time of political revolution and family switch that observed the Crusades, Richard the Lionheart, King John, and -- in legend -- Robin Hood all make their marks on history.
The occasions top as much as King John's atmosphere his seal to the recognized rfile at Runnymede in June 1215 shape this wealthy and riveting narrative that vividly describes way of life from fort to nation-state, from tuition to church, and from searching within the woodland to trial through ordeal. for example, ladies wore no lingerie (though males did), the common temperatures have been truly better than they're now, the austere kitchen at Westminster Abbey allowed every one monk kilos of meat and a gallon of ale "per day," and it used to be attainable to trip from Windsor to the Hampshire coast with no as soon as leaving the forest.
Broad in scope and wealthy intimately, "1215" ingeniously illuminates what can have been an important yr of our background.
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Additional resources for 1215 The Year of Magna Carta
And when you add something like soot, or most effectively, iron salts, the ink turns a rich dark colour, although over time it will fade to a mid-brown. The ink here has retained its blackness pretty well – those scribes were professionals and knew how to mix their materials. Their pens were quills: they would have taken the flight feather of a goose, possibly a swan, and cut it into shape. If you were right-handed, you took a left wing feather, because the feather curves the other way, and you compensated according to the direction in which you wrote.
There was also the pleasure of fishing with rod and line. The Paris-educated Anglo-Welsh intellectual, Gerald de Barri – often known as Gerald of Wales – claimed that his family home, Manorbier Castle, on the Pembrokeshire coast, was the most beautiful place in Wales. He picked out the magnificent pool below the castle walls as one of its finest features, together with its orchard and grove of hazel trees. Gerald described the Bishop of Lincoln’s palace at Stow as being ‘pleasingly surrounded by woods and pools’; it was here that the most saintly bishop of the day, Hugh of Lincoln, liked to feed his pet swan.
A chair was reserved for a person of status – hence the modern term ‘chairman’ or, nowadays, ‘chair’. The walls of the grandest rooms in important houses were often painted. Henry II commissioned a mural of an eagle and its four chicks for his Painted Chamber in Westminster Palace. In that room the bed was lavishly decorated, a ‘state-bed’ on which the king received important visitors. Other walls were decorated with embroideries or tapestries. When a household moved from one residence to another, the best of these wall-hangings were packed and taken along, either in carts or on sumpter-horses, as also were costly soft furnishings such as the coverlets with which day-beds were spread.