How will these resources help you?
The definitive biography of King John
by W.L. Warren, published by Yale University Press, (1998), 9780300073744
Warren’s style is accessible and would be easy to use in the classroom. The book is packed with aphorisms that could form the basis of a very effective lesson. Teachers could give different groups an individual statement and then ask them to find evidence to support it. For example: ‘John challenged his whole world single-handed’; ‘Why were men prepared to tell such tales about John?’; ‘John only showed caricatures of his brothers’ qualities’; and ‘John frequently showed himself highly sensitive to fears of treason’. Warren is also very thorough on John's travels during his reign: teachers could create large blank maps of England and France and ask students to research where he visited and when. This would demonstrate the energy of the king and also the range of difficulties he faced. Students could colour-code each place to show whether or not John was successful in his handling of key events.
Bringing 1215 to life
In the Reign of King John: A Year in the Life of Plantagenet England
by Dan Jones, published by Apollo, (2020), 9781838934828
The problems of King John’s reign
King John: England, Magna Carta and the Making of a Tyrant
by Stephen Church, published by Pan Macmillan, (2016), 9781447241959
Text © Mark Robinson, 2021-2023