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  • In the Reign of King John

  • A Year in the Life of Plantagenet England
  • By: Dan Jones
  • Narrated by: Dugald Bruce Lockhart
  • Length: 5 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Weakened by the loss of Normandy, King John faced insurrection by his disgruntled barons. With the assistance of the archbishop of Canterbury, they drew up a list of their demands. 

Dan Jones' vivid account of the vicissitudes of feudal power politics and the workings of 13th-century government is interwoven with an exploration of the lives of ordinary people: how and where they worked, what they wore, what they ate and what role the church played in their lives.

©2015 Dan Jones (P)2016 W F Howes

Critic Reviews

"Jones has a terrific eye for humanising stories and the telling detail...it is the snapshots of life as it was lived that make this book so engaging." (Daily Telegraph)

What listeners say about In the Reign of King John

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A vital point in British history

Dan Jones does an excellent job in both telling the story of Magna Carta but also setting it in context, plus showing how it set down a marker, a standard to which kings were expected to adhere, however many times it's terms were breached.
The reader is less good, below the standard you expect here, dropping his voice at the end of every. single. sentence. It is maddeningly unprofessional but the text remains good.

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  • Jim
  • 06-06-2016

Half a book

In the introduction to this book Dan Jones explains that this picture of everyday life in the reign of King John represents the material he couldn't work into his earlier book on Magna Carta. Plenty of other historians manage to combine major historical events with day to day detail but I plugged on at least partly as a result of a very favourable review in the Daily Telegraph of 12th November 2015 by Toby Clements and a very engaging slot on the 15th October 2015 BBC History Today podcast. Having listened to a Realm Divided; which clocks in at just over 5 hours and checked the unabridged running time of Magna Carta (3 hours and 21 minutes) I think he would have been better to combine them into one book of decent length. This has some nice details but it's too short to represent acceptable value and the structure's all over the place. It still reads like left over notes for another book. If you haven't listened Ian Mortimer's "Time Travellers Guide to Medieval England"; "England; Arise" by Juliet Barker; "King John" by Marc Morris or the mighty "Distant Mirror" by Barbara Tuchman then give this a swerve and buy with one of those instead

14 people found this helpful

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  • JPA
  • 22-03-2018

Very informative and well narrated

Thus audio book does exactly what it says and the telling and narrating is superb. very informative indeed.

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  • andrew
  • 30-07-2020

Jones does it again

Great insight into the life of the nation at this time as well as the political aspects. Pronunciation of some of some of the names is incorrect in some cases which made it a little difficult to link to prior knowledge. Dan should have read it himself.

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  • Bill
  • 24-10-2017

The whole story of King John and 1215!

Dan Jones’ style of mixing the minute details of a peasants lot in 1215 with that of a knights experience of a medieval siege is what makes this book such an wonderful history to read/ listen to.

Any lover of the Middle Ages will throughly enjoy this book, as will a general reader wanting to know a bit more about the great charter itself.

Despite reading the book it when it was first released, I still found listening to this audiobook two years later a fascinating journey back into 1215!

A real page turner! Enjoy.

1 person found this helpful

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