Generation Magna Carta: Bringing history to life

Staff and students from across the University of Lincoln’s College of Arts are this week telling the historic story of Magna Carta in a series of specially-produced radio programmes for the BBC.

As people around the world celebrate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta – which enshrined in England the rule of law, separation of church and state and the right to trial by jury – the team from the University of Lincoln has created seven short radio documentaries exploring the context and significance of the historic manuscript.

The commemorative Generation Magna Carta series explores the importance of the Great Charter to diverse groups within English society, at the time that it was sealed by King John at Runnymede, back in 1215. The productions focus on the Magna Carta’s implications for the barons, the lords, the peasants, women, the merchants, Stephen Langton and King John himself, and are designed to bring the thirteenth century society to life for modern-day audiences.

They were produced through a collaboration between Dr Philippa Hoskin and PhD students Sara Mederos and Abi Dorr from the School of History and Heritage, together with Conan Lawrence, Andrew Westerside and recent graduates from the School of Fine & Performing Arts, and Michael Hortin from BBC Radio Lincolnshire.

Dr Hoskin, Reader in History and Heritage at the University of Lincoln, said: “Our Generation Magna Carta series is a fantastic example of a collaboration between Schools, which is supporting our local community’s important Magna Carta commemorations. We have combined historic research with creative performance, and are delighted with the results.

“The 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Great Charter is an important landmark for our county, and the series will certainly encourage listeners to consider just what it was like to live in England during the thirteenth century.”

The city of Lincoln is home to one of only four remaining 1215 Magna Carta manuscripts, and earlier this year Dr Hoskin was selected as one of six world-leading academics to study all four originals when they were brought together at the British Library for the first time since their creation 800 years ago.

Conan Lawrence, Principal Lecturer in the School of Fine & Performing Arts, said: “Andrew and I are proud to have produced this dramatic material to illustrate Philippa’s Magna Carta research and look forward to working on future College-wide productions.”

The first instalment of Generation Magna Carta aired on Monday 15th June – 800 years to the day since the sealing of the Magna Carta. The series will continue every day on BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Melvyn in the Morning show until Tuesday 22nd June, and you can listen again to all seven productions online via the BBC Radio Lincolnshire website.

Story Credits: Elizabeth Allen

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *