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Magna Carta 800 Sets

June 2015 was the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta – considered by many to be the keystone to Britain’s constitutional and democracy. To celebrate and see the impact this document has had, over six months in 2015 I published a series of 6 books, each containing several texts from across the centuries that have been inspired by the Magna Carta. From the English Civil War era, to the French and American Bills of Rights in the late 1700s, the Chartists of the 1830s though to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Charter88 and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union of 2000. The final book in series contains Henry I’s Charter of Liberties (1100) on which the Magna Carta itself is based, the original 1215 Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forests of 1217.

What the series shows is a lineage stretching back to Saxon times of the struggle to assert and protect the inherent rights and dignities of ordinary people against the attempts by the wealthy and powerful to control and corral resources, assets and power for themselves, at the expense of everyone else.

Originally distributed to subscribers of the Periodical there are 35 sets remaining, each of which has been bound together with red satin ribbon in a special edition.
Each set costs £15 plus postage and packing: buy your’s here.

View the whole collection here – free to read online or download, print out and make up yourself.

the periodical

the Periodical issue 32


May’s issue (no. 32) contains the penultimate book in my series celebrating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Thomas Paine’s pamphlets Common Sense and Agrarian Justice are part of his remarkable legacy of revolutionary, communitarian ideas. Reviled in his own day, the ideas contained in these texts such as the pension and basic income are as relevant today as they were radical then. Challenging both hereditary privilege to govern and ownership of land as pernicious perversions of natural law, Paine calls for systems of amelioration (rather than confiscation) to be established to recompense those born outside of privilege. His is a radical, yet nonviolent call for a revolution that seeks to benefit all, regardless of the station they were born to. It seems fitting then to place alongside them the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which I believe Paine would have approved of. A landmark achievement and a direct descendant of Magna Carta, it is part of the Post War Settlement which established in law in many countries, the inherent rights of individual human beings. As we grapple with the erosion of the Welfare State and national sovereignty in favour of corporations, the global rise in inequality, religious intolerance, state surveillance, suspension of civil liberties and other egregious acts, we do well to hold it dear, and fast.

Like what you see here? Then treat yourself to something lovely – an enigmatic, eclectic package arriving through your letterbox each month. Or buy a gift subscription for someone special. Get inspired to create and share your own publications on bookleteer to take part too – each month I select something delightful and inspiring from the publications which are made and shared on bookleteer.