• The Magna Charta

  • By: James Daugherty
  • Narrated by: Geoffrey Howard
  • Length: 2 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (171 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

In the rich turbulence of English history, one day stands magnificently apart: June 15, 1215, the day of the signing of the Magna Charta. On this day, the first blow for English freedom was struck and forever affected the Western world.

Here is the story of three true men, Stephen Langton, Williams Marshall, and Hubert de Burgh, whose heroic deeds are set against those of the ever deceitful and crafty King John.

James Daugherty's narrative is divided into four parts, the first three describing the intriguing development of the Magna Charta itself. The fourth part is titled "Children of the Magna Charta" and subtitled "Milestones that have marked the long road from Magna Charta". In it he describes the rise of other movements that harkened back to the Magna Charta in their claims for freedom and self rule, including the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the covenant of the League of Nations, the Atlantic Charter, the Charter of the Organization of the American States, and the United Nations Charter.

Newbery Award-winning author James Daugherty gives us the dramatic and sweeping account of this pageantry of history through his inimitable style. This audio edition is sure to thrill and enlighten a new generation of readers.

©1956 James Daugherty (P)2002 Blackstone Audiobooks

What listeners say about The Magna Charta

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    2 out of 5 stars

Narration makes a dull book duller

What would have made The Magna Charta better?

The facts were stated in a clearly biased manner

What could James Daugherty have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Tell the facts as they were without bias toward the church and a lecture in morality.

What didn’t you like about Geoffrey Howard’s performance?

Absolutely painful to listen to. Singsong, emotionless delivery. He sounds like Leslie Howard in Gone with the wind, passionless and condescending to the reader.

What character would you cut from The Magna Charta?

There was no characterization but he could have given more credit to William Marshal's story and less to the manipulative Bishop

Any additional comments?

Horrible. I wish I had my money back.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Two books in one - first great, second poor..

The story of the Magna Charta itself is engrossing and well done. That is the first part of the book and it is great. The latter part, in which the author attempts to show additional steps of the same type as a continuation of the trend begun by the Magna Charta, is a confused and ill-informed failure: a serious disappointment to any student of political history. The narration was excellent throughout.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Historically entertaining.

What made the experience of listening to The Magna Charta the most enjoyable?

Well written. It gave me a whole new perspective of how far reaching the Magna Charta actually was as a forunner of the UN charter. Geoffrey Howard's narration made listening quite enjoyable.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Magna Charta?

King John's intigues in wanting to hold onto power.

What about Geoffrey Howard’s performance did you like?

Geoffrey Howard's performance made the story come alive. I've always enjoyed hearing him read.

If you could rename The Magna Charta, what would you call it?

Would you rename the Mona Lisa? Thjis book may not be on the same level but why change a title that works? I certainly won't.

Any additional comments?

Audible certainly makes listening to books more enjoyable, especially on long drives.

2 people found this helpful

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GREAT listen! Funny, but informative.

This was a really great book. I enjoyed listening to the excellent narration, and the author treated a subject that could have been dull with some good (sometimes sarcastic) humor. Very informative.

Wish he had written more books about history!

2 people found this helpful

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History and Legacy at Wiki Speed

The narrator's a bit formal and stilted, but otherwise this is the hard and fast history -- and legacy -- of the Magna Carta (or Charta as they spell it) that needed to be. I listened to this one in honor of the upcoming 800th anniversary of its signing. This one's narrative is written almost like it's an adventure story, which I suppose in a way it is. It's all perspective. For something that packs so much history into a small package, this is a remarkably thorough telling of the story and its players. As with anything, I'd always recommend reading up more on the characters and their larger stories, but considering the focus here, this little audiobook did a remarkable job.

1 person found this helpful

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A Morality Tale

Not my cup of tea. More of a dramatically narrated propaganda piece, with excessive use of charged words, such as 'Evil' and 'Cowardly' than a thoughtful historical account. Not to fault the narrator for reflecting the tone of the author.

3 people found this helpful

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Purple Prose

This work was written in the 1950s, and it shows. Much of the prose is overblown, and a few of the assumptions have been disproven. However, it's still enjoyable and mostly correct.

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excellent narrator

nice drama on the coverage of King John and tie into 21st century history at the end.

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Idealistic, But Not Informative

For as short as this title is, it talked very little on the title subject. But, it is a beautiful love letter to democracy.

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Good Book On The Subject

Vividly highlights the necessity of charters and treaties during such periods where the tyranny of rulership was most prominent and required resolution to ensure both the safety and wellness of all who lived within the constraints of these economies.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-08-21

Must read

Must read for this day and age where freedoms are being taken away from under our noses in the form of safety. Also explains alot of how school and instutionalised education have worped history.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dave Kinsella
  • 08-04-15

Listened to this a few years ago.

Can't believe I didn't review it back then. Really good. I often think about it. Really want to listen to it again and have my kids listen to it. Well recommended.

21/02/2019 Listened to it again. Really good. Now to get the kids to listen to it.

1 person found this helpful