A vivid and richly illustrated portrait of English society in the penultimate year of the reign of a king with the worst reputation of any in our history.
1215 is chiefly remembered for King John attaching his seal to Magna Carta in a quiet Thames-side water-meadow – a milestone in the history of liberty. But it was also a year of crusading and church reform, of foreign wars and dramatic sieges – a year in which London was stormed by angry barons and England invaded by a French army.
As well as describing these upheavals, Dan Jones introduces us to the ordinary people of thirteenth-century England – how and where they worked, what they wore, what they ate, and what role the church played in their lives – to create a vivid gripping portrait of an extraordinary year in English history.
'Packed with moments that make you stop in your track' Daily Telegraph.
'Exhilarating, epic, sword-swinging history ... A skilful storyteller ... He enlivens the narrative with bloodcurdling details and arresting turns of phrase ... There is also fine scholarly intuition' TLS, on The Templars.
'Jones carries the Templars through the crusades with clarity and verve. This is unabashed narrative history, fast-paced and full of incident ... Jones tells their story extremely well' Sunday Times, on The Templars.
'Voyages, battles, sieges and slaughter: Dan Jones's tumultuous and thrilling history of the crusades is one of the best ... Jones is exceptionally good at giving evocative snapshots of medieval life, sometimes poignant, sometimes pure Monty Python' Sunday Times, on Crusaders.
'A powerful story brilliantly told. Dan Jones writes with pace, wit and insight' Helen Castor, on Crusaders.