Sellar and Yeatman’s classic satirical work, 1066 And All That, is famous for denouncing King John as a ‘Bad King’. In the authors’ estimation, John had ‘begun badly as a Bad Prince’, and ‘he finally demonstrated his utter incompetence by losing the Crown and all his clothes in the wash’, an allusion to the loss of the royal baggage train during John’s last days in the Wash, a bay on the east coast of England. But Sellar and Yeatman focused particularly on Magna Carta. According to their garbled summary, Magna Carta decreed that ‘nobody be put to death, except for some reason, that everyone should be free, except the peasants … [and that] the Barons should not be tried except by a special jury of other Barons who would understand. Magna Charter was therefore the chief cause of Democracy in England, and thus a Good Thing for everyone (except the Common People).’
- Full title:
- 1066 and All That. A memorable history of England: comprising, all the parts you can remember ... Illustrated by John Reynolds, Gent.
- 1930, London
- Book / Illustration
- Walter Carruthers Sellar, Robert Julian Yeatman, John Reynolds
- © Rosalind Haddon, Jean Quick and William Yeatman 2009
- Usage terms
© Rosalind Haddon, Jean Quick and William Yeatman, 2009
- Held by
- British Library
- Article by:
- Joshua Rozenberg
- Magna Carta today
Today Magna Carta has become a world-class brand, representing human rights, democracy and free speech – despite the fact that the original document makes no mention of these principles. Joshua Rozenberg explains Magna Carta’s place in modern legal and popular culture, and reveals the importance of its 800-year-old symbolism.