The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century

Front Cover
Touchstone, Dec 29, 2009 - History - 352 pages
The past is a foreign country. This is your guidebook.

A time machine has just transported you back to the fourteenth century. What do you see? How do you dress? How do you earn a living and how much are you paid? What sort of food will you be offered by a peasant or a monk or a lord? And more important, where will you stay?

The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England is not your typical look at a historical period. This radical new approach shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. All facets of everyday life in this fascinating period are revealed, from the horrors of the plague and war to the ridiculous excesses of roasted larks and medieval haute couture.

Through the use of daily chronicles, letters, household accounts, and poems of the day, Mortimer transports you back in time, providing answers to questions typically ignored by traditional historians. You will learn how to greet people on the street, what to use as toilet paper, why a physician might want to taste your blood, and how to know whether you are coming down with leprosy.

From the first step on the road to the medieval city of Exeter, through meals of roast beaver and puffin, Mortimer re-creates this strange and complex period of history. Here, the lives of serf, merchant, and aristocrat are illuminated with re-markable detail in this engaging literary journey. The result is the most astonishing social history book you’re ever likely to read: revolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining in its detail, and startling for its portrayal of humanity in an age of violence, exuberance, and fear.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
16
4 stars
18
3 stars
3
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PhilSyphe - www.librarything.com

This is one of the liveliest history books I’ve ever read. Don’t expect dry facts. Expect instead an engaging narrative throughout. All that can be covered in fourteenth-century England is covered ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mbmackay - LibraryThing

The title explains the objective - a professional historian leads the reader on a "time travelling journey" to 14th century England. And the objective is broadly met. This is history of the little ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2009)

Ian Mortimer is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and was awarded the Alexander Prize in 2004 for his work on the social history of medicine. He holds a Ph.D. in history and a higher doctorate from the University of Exeter. He has written five other medieval books, most recently the revolutionary study Medieval Intrigue: Decoding Royal Conspiracies. He has also worked for several archive and historical research organizations in the U.K., where he lives with his wife and children.

www.ianmortimer.com

Bibliographic information