A unique book celebrating the impact of the Magna Carta on modern society will be dispatched from Lincoln to leaders across the world.
The hardback publication ‘800‘ explores, through the voices of a range of county residents, how the medieval document still plays a vital part in shaping the values we hold sacred today.
The book features a wide variety of interviews and articles from leading Lincolnshire educationalists, school children, artists, business leaders and charity organisers.
It also includes the first published versions of specially commissioned works from UK Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Welsh National Poet Gillian Clarke and Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry holder Imtiaz Dharker.
The three internationally-renowned poets composed their work as part of the Magna Carta Poets Laureate Lincolnshire Landscape project, which has been designed to explore the themes of freedom of speech, human rights and democracy as part of the celebrations for the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta.
Only 1215 copies of the book have been produced, with 800 being sent to heads of state around the world and distributed to county schools and libraries, with the remaining 415 available to buy for just £8.
Books can be purchase online here, from Ruddocks on Lincoln High Street, The Collection museum, Lincoln Castle and the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.
The artistic directors and executive producers of the project, Lincoln-based cultural solutions UK, are now in talks with officials about presenting the books to the heads of the 53 Commonwealth states at Commonwealth Seminar in Malta at the end of this month.
The book also features work from the first ever Lincolnshire Young Poet Laureate, Peter Latimer, a role created as part of the Poets Laureate programme.
Peter, 17, from Lincoln, will spend the year working with children and young people right across the county on writing projects, editing a young people’s book and also giving readings and talks.
Cultural solutions UK has also worked with artists and the local community to create original songs, radio plays, documentaries and art as part of the project, funded by Arts Council England and Lincolnshire County Council.
David Lambert, of cultural solutions UK, said: “The book really is the visible culmination of the project and it’s fitting that something which celebrates the impact of Magna Carta will be sent to all corners of the world as well as the county.
“But of course we hope that the project has also left a legacy which goes beyond the written word and has inspired people to both understand and reinforce the values of freedom first sparked by the Magna Carta.
“We are delighted we have been able to feature the voices of such a wide variety of people from across the county because at the heart of the project has been a drive to bring people together and reinforce the idea that unity and equality are as important today as the barons believed them to be 800 years ago.”