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

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Vintage, 2009 - England - 344 pages
31 Reviews
An original, entertaining and illuminating guide to a complete different world: England in the Middle Ages.
Imagine you could get into a time machine and travel back to the fourteenth century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? Should you go to a castle or a monastic guesthouse? And what are you going to eat? What sort of food are you going to be offered by a peasant or a monk or a lord?
This radical new approach turns our entire understanding of history upside down. It shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. It sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking you, the reader, to the middle ages, and showing you everything from the horrors of leprosy and war to the ridiculous excesses of roasted larks and haute couture.
Being a guidebook, many questions are answered which do not normally occur in traditional history books. How do you greet people in the street? What should you use for toilet paper? How fast -- and how safely -- can you travel? Why might a physician want to taste your blood? And how do you test to see if you are going down with the plague?
The result is the most astonishing social history book you are 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MiaCulpa - LibraryThing

I consider myself a traveller of mild repute, having visited over fifty countries, but I'd never given much thought to visiting the fourteenth century, even though the past is a foreign country. If ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - untraveller - LibraryThing

An excellent fun book. tremendous learning tool. I usually give my paperbacks away....might be hanging onto this one as I have a trip coming up to England in about three weeks. Might be fun to review ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Dr Ian Mortimer is the author of the bestselling Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England, eight other books and many peer-reviewed articles on English history between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and was awarded the Alexander Prize (2004) for his work on the social history of medicine in seventeenth-century England. In June 2011, the University of Exeter awarded him a higher doctorate (D.Litt.) by examination, on the strength of his historical work. He also writes historical fiction, published under his middle names (James Forrester). He lives with his wife and three children on the edge of Dartmoor, in Devon. For further information about him and a full bibliography, see his website:

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