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Sean McGlynn

Every generation has its own Robin, adapted to fit the needs of the time.

A little-known encounter between the English and French navies should rank alongside Trafalgar and the defeat of the Armada.

Knights and foot soldiers engage in battle during the war between Philip II of France and King John, French manuscript, 13th century.

Magna Carta was born of the loss of King John’s French territories and his increasingly desperate – and expensive – attempts to regain them.

Attempts to rehabilitate ‘Bad’ King John always come up against a major stumbling block: the verdicts of his contemporaries.

Sean McGlynn reconsiders the origins of the popular myth and suggests a new contender for the original folk hero; not an outlaw from Nottingham but a devoted royal servant from Kent, who opposed the French invasion against King John in 1216.

A 'doom mural' on the wall of St Thomas the Martyr, Salisbury, 1475

How dangerous was life in the Middle Ages? Sean McGlynn gets to grips with the level of violent crime, and the sometimes cruel justice meted out to offenders.

Sean McGlynn puts the present-day European Union into historical perspective.

At the siege of Château Gaillard in 1204, the non-combatants caught up in the conflict were forced by the rival commanders out into the cold to endure appalling hardships. Sean McGlynn retells their story and explains the logic of war that made such things possible.