On the Spot: David Carpenter

‘Looking at medieval history through the prism of Max Weber is challenging.’

King John and Magna Carta. Wiki Commons.

Why are you a historian of the Middle Ages?

I was drawn to it by studying various versions of Magna Carta in Bishop Stubbs’ Select Charters.

What’s the most important lesson history has taught you?

That studying the past is fun.

Which history book has had the greatest influence on you?

J.C. Holt’s The Northerners.

What book in your field should everyone read?

English Historical Documents 1189-1327.  

Which moment would you most like to go back to?

Runnymede in 1215 or Oxford during the revolution of 1258.

Which historian has had the greatest influence on you?

Margaret Howell’s 1998 biography of Henry III’s queen, Eleanor of Provence.

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