1. Reading List 85 items
    1. Essential 3 items
      1. King John: England, Magna Carta and the making of a tyrant - Stephen Church 2015

        Book Essential

      2. Magna Carta - David Carpenter 2015

        Book Essential

      3. King John: new interpretations - S. D. Church 1999

        Book Suggested for student purchase A necessary rejoinder to Warren’s assessment of John by the best historians of their respective fields.

    2. Stephen Church's King John : Key Chapters 4 items
    3. Recommended 3 items
      1. King John - W. L. Warren, John 1978

        Book Recommended A lively and scholarly account of John’s reign, though it presents a much more positive view of John than is now fashionable.

      2. John (1167 - 1216) - J. Gillingham 2004

        Article Essential Online article overview of John’s reign. Good to get you started, but beware: Gillingham is no fan of John, being the modern biographer of John’s big brother Richard the Lionheart. Gillingham relies primarily on the testimony of monastic chroniclers (as opposed to records of the English administration), which can paint a rather dismal picture of John.

    4. Other General Surveys and Studies of John's Reign, Life and Personality 11 items
      1. King John: England's evil king? - Ralph V. Turner 2005

        Book Essential Less scholarly than Warren, but perhaps more approachable. A textbook rather than an academic biography. The newer edition has miniscule text, so I prefer to save my eyes by reading the 1994 edition.

      2. The life and times of King John - Maurice Ashley 1972

        Book Background

      3. King John - James Clarke Holt 1963

        Book Background

      4. Magna Carta - James Clarke Holt 1992

        Book Essential Very dry, but unsurpassed analysis of John's government.

      5. The Northerners: A Study in the Reign of King John - James Clarke Holt 1992 (electronic resource)

        Book Essential A classic study of relations between John and his barons. Path breaking in its day. Though highly detailed it is not unreadable.

      6. Magna Carta and the England of King John - Janet Senderowitz Loengard 2010

        Book Essential Collection of essays.

      7. John Lackland - K. Norgate 1902

        Book Background

      8. The reign of King John - Sidney Painter 1966

        Book Recommended

      9. King John: an underrated king - G. E. Seel 2012

        Book Recommended Very readable, very revisionist.

      10. King John in his Context - R.V. Turner 1991

        Article Recommended

    5. Historiography 7 items
      1. Historical writing in England - Antonia Gransden 1974-1982


      2. Historical writing in England - Antonia Gransden 1982


      3. Matthew Paris - Richard Vaughan, Matthew Paris 1979


      4. Roger of Howden - Frank Barlow


    6. General Works on Medieval Britain 10 items
      1. The first English empire: power and identities in the British Isles 1093-1343 - R. R. Davies 2000

        Book Recommended Learned overview of the development of English hegemony within the British Isles, and its complex cultural and racial history.

      2. The feudal kingdom of England, 1042-1216 - Frank Barlow 1999

        Book Background First published in 1955 (for an audience with a knowledge of Latin). It is traditional in its approach, but useful and very well written.

      3. England under the Norman and Angevin kings, 1075-1225 - Robert Bartlett 2000

        Book Recommended Not as straightforward a book as it appears from the title, being a cultural rather than a political history. Very learned and fascinatingly offbeat.

      4. From Norman Conquest to Magna Carta: England 1066-1215 - Christopher Daniell 2003

        Book Background Thematic chapters would provide context for John’s rule.

      5. Ruling England, 1042-1217 - Richard Huscroft 2016

        Book Background A very thorough up-to-date, clear and accurate overview of its period of English history.

      6. Religion, politics and society in Britain 1066-1272 - Henry Mayr-Harting 2011

        Book Recommended For the religious dimension of the period.

      7. Angevin England, 1154-1258 - Richard Mortimer 1994

        Book Background Informative if dry.

      8. The twelfth and thirteenth centuries, 1066-c.1280 - Barbara Fitzgerald Harvey 2001

        Book Background A series of themed essays by several leading writers on British identities (Welsh, Scottish, English) with excellent material on government and kingship.

      9. A companion to Britain in the later Middle Ages - S. H. Rigby, Historical Association (Great Britain) 2009

        Book Recommended A thematic jaunt through the late-medieval British Isles. Individual chapters are written by experts in their respective fields (e.g. English social history; Irish political history; Welsh cultural history), but tend to be fairly digestible. Its chronological scope is much longer than the module, but it may be helpful as background reading or to help with dissertation ideas. Pick and mix.

      10. Medieval Britain, c. 1000-1500 - David Crouch 2017

        Book Recommended An introduction to key concepts in medieval British history and society. A good starting point. Well written! I thinks so anyway.

    7. England and the Continent 9 items
      1. The Plantagenet empire: 1154-1224 - Martin Aurell 2007

        Book Recommended Brings a much broader perspective, taking in all of the English king's dominions. It is very good on kingship and succession.

      2. The Angevin empire - John Gillingham 2001

        Book Recommended Short and sweet political history of the Angevin Empire, 1154-1217. Good for placing English politics in European context, but only in conjunction with other works.

      3. The two cities: medieval Europe, 1050-1320 - Malcolm Barber 1992

        Book Background An updated version of a classic overview of medieval Europe.

      4. Britain and the continent, 1000-1300 - Donald Matthew 2005

        Book Background A reminder that England - and indeed Britain - did not exist in isolation.

      5. Europe's long twelfth century: order, anxiety, and adaptation, 1095-1229 - John D. Cotts 2013

        Book Recommended Very approachable and up-to-date textbook on the period 1095-1229.

      6. The making of Europe: conquest, colonization and cultural change, 950-1350 - Robert Bartlett 1994

        Book Recommended A very important book viewing medieval Europe as a civilisation characterised by its expansion. Provides the context for John’s involvement in Ireland and Wales.

      7. The central Middle Ages: Europe 950-1320 - Daniel Power 2006 (electronic resource)

        Book Background A series of thematic overviews of Europe’s core society, followed by a short overview of the peripheral societies.

      8. Europe in the High Middle Ages - William C. Jordan 2002

        Book Background

    8. The Plantagenet Family 9 items
      1. Eleanor of Aquitaine: lord and lady - Bonnie Wheeler, John Carmi Parsons 2002

        Book Recommended The best academic study of the charismatic queen who was John's mother.

      2. Henry II. - W. L. Warren 2000

        Book Essential The still unsurpassed mammoth study of the mammoth reign of John's father, and all the problems that came home to John to deal with,

      3. Henry the young king, 1155-1183 - Matthew Strickland 2016 (electronic resource)

        Book Recommended A new and intriguing study of John's charismatic eldest brother, at whose court he was when a boy. Very strong on the military aspect of Plantagenet life.

      4. Richard I. - John Gillingham 1999

        Book Recommended Written by a fanboy of the Lionheart and strangely uncritical of the problems Richard left his brother. Very good on Anglo-French relations and warfare.

      5. The reign of Richard Lionheart: ruler of the Angevin empire, 1189-99 - Ralph V. Turner, Richard R. Heiser 2000

        Book Recommended A serious attempt to analyse the structural problems caused by Richard's government, and a good balance to Gillingham's study.

      6. Blanche of Castile : Queen of France - Lindy Grant 2016

        Book Recommended Blanche was John's niece and a pawn in Anglo-French diplomacy in the first years of his reign, as well as being the excuse for Louis of France to claim the throne of England in 1216.

    9. The Barons and Noble Culture 6 items
      1. The English aristocracy, 1070-1272: a social transformation - David Crouch 2011

        Book Essential The definitive work on aristocracy in medieval England for the period. Can I say that?

      2. Medieval chivalry - Richard W. Kaeuper 2016

        Book  Chapter 8: Kings and Knights

      3. The lettered knight: knowledge and aristocratic behavior in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries - Martin Aurell, Jean-Charles Khalifa, Jeremy Price 2017

        Book Background An original and surprising study of the culture of the twelfth-century Anglo-French aristocracy

      4. The making of manners and morals in twelfth-century England: the Book of the civilised man - Fiona E. Whelan 2017

        Book Recommended Study of what made good manners in King John's England.

      5. William Marshal - David Crouch 2016

        Book Essential The standard (but not only) biography of the key baronial character of John's reign.

      6. The greatest knight: the remarkable life of William Marshal, the power behind five English thrones - Thomas S. Asbridge 2015

        Book Recommended Another biography of William Marshal.

    10. The Military System 6 items
      1. The household knights of King John - S. D. Church 1999

        Book Recommended The only study to date of John's military retinue

      2. Western warfare in the age of the crusades, 1000-1300 - John France 1999

        Book Essential Though focussed on the crusades, probably the best book available on the mechanics of medieval warfare

      3. War and chivalry: the conduct and perception of war in England and Normandy, 1066-1217 - Matthew Strickland 1996

        Book Recommended The work of a military enthusiast.

      4. Mercenaries and paid men: the mercenary identity in the Middle Ages - John France 2008 (electronic resource)

        Book Recommended A work which brought forward for the first time the fact that medieval armies were not 'feudal' but 'professional'

      5. Tournament - David Crouch 2005

        Book Recommended A wide ranging study of military culture in the 12th and 13th century. Very detailed.

      6. Blood cries afar: the forgotten invasion of England 1216 - Sean McGlynn 2011

        Book Background A reconstruction of the warfare of the Capetian invasion.

    11. John and Ireland 6 items
      1. William Marshal and Ireland - Coilin O Drisceoil 2016

        Book Background

      2. The Geraldines and medieval Ireland: the making of a myth - Peter Crooks, Seán Duffy 2016

        Book Background

      3. King John and Ireland - W. L. Warren 1981

        Chapter Essential

      4. The acts and letters of the Marshal family: marshals of England and earls of Pembroke, 1145-1248 - David Crouch 2015

        Book Background The introduction includes biographies of Marshal and his sons

    12. The Capetian Invasion, 1216-17 4 items
      1. Philip Augustus: king of France, 1180-1223 - Jim Bradbury 1998

        Book Essential A reasoned and intelligent study of Philip's reign, and one of the few in English.

      2. The government of Philip Augustus: foundations of French royal power in the Middle Ages - John W. Baldwin 1986

        Book Background An important study of the rise of Capetian power in France, though not engaging directly with John and his reign.

      3. Capetian France, 987-1328 - Elizabeth M. Hallam, Judith Everard 2001

        Book Background

    13. King John, the Church and Religion 7 items
      1. King John and religion - Paul Webster 2015

        Book Recommended The first in depth study of King John's piety and religious sincerity

      2. Pope Innocent III and England - C. R. Cheney 1976

        Book Recommended Still the best study of papal policy and ambition as regards England.

      3. Thirteenth century England XV: authority and resistance in the age of Magna Carta : proceedings from the Aberystwyth and Lampeter Conference, 2013 - Janet E. Burton, Phillipp R. Schofield, Björn K. U. Weiler, Conference on Thirteenth Century England 2015

        Book Essential Chapter: Thinking Politically with Innocent III: Prudence and Providence

      4. Hubert Walter - C. R. Cheney 1967


      5. The Cistercian order in medieval Europe, 1090-1500 - Emilia Jamroziak 2013

        Book Background An international study of King John's favourite monastic order

  2. Digital Content 27 items
  3. Going beyond your reading list 1 item
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