When it was granted by King John in 1215, Magna Carta was a practical solution to a political crisis. In the centuries since, it has become a potent symbol of liberty and the rule of law. This catalogue accompanies a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition at the British Library commemorating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. It takes us on a journey from the charter’s medieval origins through to what it means to people around the world today.Drawing on the rich historical collections of the British Library – including two original copies of Magna Carta from 1215 – the catalogue brings to life the history and contemporary resonance of this globally important document. It features treasured artefacts inspired by the rich legacy of Magna Carta, including Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten draft of the Declaration of Independence and an original copy of the Bill of Rights.
Claire Breay is Lead Curator, Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts at the British Library. Her publications include Magna Carta: Manuscripts and Myths (British Library, 2002) and a co-edited volume of essays, The St Cuthbert Gospel (British Library, 2015). Julian Harrison is Curator of Pre-1600 Historical Manuscripts at the British Library. His publications include Beowulf: Treasures in Focus (British Library, 2009).
- Claire Breay and Julian Harrison
- British Library Publishing
- Publication date
- March 2015
- 272 pages
- 280 x 220mm