"For centuries King John has been regarded as the embodiment of an evil ruler. But, says Graham E. Seel, this image is largely the creation of monastic chroniclers with an axe to grind. A close examination of contemporary records reveals a more nuanced character."
On the one hand several reports say he had a terrible temper, even before he became king. On the other hand, he was a hard-working administrator. And England's financial drain can be attributed largely to expenses incurred by the absent Richard Lionheart, who hated England anyway.