In 1821 M. Landry of Fancy Repository, Greenwich, published this children’s game which gave prominence to the Great Charter. Described by its anonymous author as an ‘Instructive Pastime’, the game was designed to teach chivalry to younger people. The playing cards were hand-coloured, with each one bearing an image of the twenty-four Orders of Knighthood, or an important event, item or person associated with English history. Among the cards were ‘Magna Charta’ (No. 52), ‘Bill of Rights’ (No. 39), ‘Robin Hood’ (No. 5) and ‘Doomsday Book’ (No. 4). According to the rather complicated rules, ‘Magna Charta takes any card and is privileged to mark twelve points’. Intriguingly, ‘Magna Charta’ itself is represented not by a picture of a medieval document but by two pink roses.
- Article by:
- Alex Lock
Throughout the 20th century, Magna Carta inspired figures across the political spectrum, from suffragists and fascists to those drafting human rights legislation. Dr Alexander Lock explores the charter’s relationship to the Second World War, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and modern America.