By DAVID HORSPOOL
Sometimes, dating things can be a bit of a distraction for historians, though putting things in the right order might seem like the least we should expect of them. Yesterday, at the British Library’s announcement of their exhibitions and events for 2015, dates were much discussed. There were anniversaries: 800 years since Magna Carta, 150 since the publication of Alice in Wonderland, 200 since the birth of Anthony Trollope.
But there was also the question of putting things in order. For the Library’s Magna Carta exhibition, “Law, Liberty, Legacy”, which will run from March 13 to the beginning of September next year, one of the most intriguing exhibits will be the Library’s manuscript of the Scottish Melrose Chronicle, Cotton MS Faustina B IX (pictured above), which contains what is described as “the earliest independent account of the negotiations between King John and the Barons at Runnymede”.