qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Bad King John

Today we visited the British Library for the Magna Carta exhibition. It was busy but not crammed. To be fair there's a limited amount of mileage in a document that is commonly misunderstood (having nothing to say on the rights of peasants, for example) but I think it did a fair job in setting the document in context and showing how it has been interpreted and used through history, both in Britain and internationally. Twentieth century references included a copy of 1066 And All That, and a video clip from Tony Hancock (In my memory I had misfiled "Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you? Did she die in vain?" under Rumpole, so an important matter has been clarified there); into the 21st century with, inter alia, a disturbing cartoon featuring former home secretary Charles Clarke. Particularly interesting in the current political climate were the clear links to the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Tags: exhibitions, history, london, politics
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