What to say when Ted brings up the Magna Carta at the watercooler

filed under:
Image credit: 

Get ready because Ted (or whatever your office know-it-all is named) is going to mention that it was today in 1215 that the Magna Carta was sealed. Well, he might remember the basics about it being one of the first documents to establish that monarchs were subject to earthly law but he probably doesn't know some of these delicious facts (courtesy of our Cocktail Party Cheat Sheets book):

* Most of the Magna Carta isn't really devoted to the rights of mankind but to things like whether widows should be forced to marry (they should not, although they may have to leave their dead husband's house forty days after his death) or to the rights of men "who live outside the forest" (they should not have ot appear before courts inside the forest). That part's really a page-turner.

* The Magna Carta actually didn't have much influence on government in the centuries after it was written. In fact, the power of the British monarchy actually increased. It was considered a pretty insignificant document.

* And the original manuscript has been lost but there are 17 really really old copies and guess who owns one of them? None other than former presidential candidate/billionaire Ross Perot.

How 'bout those facts, Ted?

Check out pg 110 in Cocktail Party Cheat Sheets for more good stuff.

 

More from mental_floss...

June 15, 2006 - 12:11am
webby
submit to reddit