What was it actually like to live in Elizabethan England? If you could travel to the past and walk the streets of London in the 1590s, where would you stay? What would you eat? What would you wear? Would you really have a sense of it being a glorious age? And if so, how would that glory sit alongside the vagrants, diseases, violence, sexism and famine of the time? In this book Ian Mortimer answers the key questions that a visitor to late 16th-century England would ask.
©2012 Ian Mortimer (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd
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"Good book but drags a little in the middle"
When handling ideas Mortimer is excellent but he gets somewhat bogged down in detail sometimes.
This is one of my favourite books ever. It really deals with everyday life and the social mores and customs of the time. You find out what people ate, what they did in leisure time, how they washed (or didn't), what a hostel was like, the things they valued. It is a wealth of nuggets. I come back to listen to parts of this book time and time again. You can feel the authority of an author who has really done his homework and no doubt mountains of research and yet he writes in a totally accessible and easy manner as if he were talking to you directly. I cannot reccommend this book highly enough. When can we expect more Traveller's guides to other periods?
"Not as good as the guide to Medieval England."
It was full of facts, but I feel most had been covered in the similar 'Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England'.
No, his narration was rather monotonous.
It would be interesting to cover other periods, possibly Victorian England or England in the Dark Ages?
"a gripping tale - well narrated and immenses you"
Yes, a good narrative, it puts you there in the heart of the time-frame as an observer and you can visualize what the reader is trying to convey to you.
As a generalization any books on Elizabeth I would be handy to be read in conjunction with this book.
Fluid narrative and puts heart and soul into enabling the reader to be there in the story line, the descriptions are brilliant and punchy. At no time did i find myself bored or wanting to go and do something else.
Worth a read, other time traveller guides appear to be available too.
"A Very Entertaining and Knowledgable Book"
As an Historical book, it has no equal.
Mike Grady is terrific. For this book he has the perfect voice and delivery.
No, but I was intrigued throughout.
This was the most enlightening non fiction book I have listened to. It was clear and dealt with everything of the period, in a manner easily understood. This book will transport you to the 16th Century. (Can't wait to listen to ' The Time Travelers Guide to Medieval England')
"History from the ground up"
Having a complex non-fiction book on audio is not something I thought could work. But the lively narrative style of this history of Elizabethan England means it is easy to follow without becoming lost.
The previous title by the author, The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England, employs the same perspective on history - that of the average person, rather than the elevated view of Kings and courtiers.
Well worth a listen if you have an interest in history in general, or in the Elizabethan age.
"Simplistic yet interesting"
I liked this book as it focused on the ordinary lives of people at the time; how they lived day to day life, how they thought and viewed the world.
Very well narrated, definitely ignited my imagination.
No. It is a book on facts regarding the period of the time. It is meant to read as a 'guide' and therefore very little emotional content.
This is a 'light' read. It would be perfect for younger listeners as it is easy to follow and no complicated terminology or pretentiousness. At the same time it is not patronising or simplified.
"Elizabethan England Revealed"
Yes, so much to learn and absorb
It did not claim to tell a story it was a collection of facts with some glimpses into the lives of the Elizabethan populace
I feel the point of this booked has been missed. It is not a storybook with a list of characters. Rather, it is informing the listener about the circumstances of the people living at all levels.
No, it is not that kind of book. You could be interested in finding out how people cleansed their hair, clothes and bodies. You could be horrified by the punishments given for various crimes. Most of all you could be deeply interested in the life experienced by the people. What they ate, how they passed their leisure time etc.
I look forweard to reading the previous book written by this author.
"Pretty good but not as good as the medieval one"
Very interesting and covers all areas from fashion, transport, religion, class, cities, disease, etc, etc.
Similar in format to the Medieval book , but as one other reviewer pointed out, quite a few statistics that are neither here or there really in such an outline history.
The narrator is not quite as good with the occasional word being enounced very softly leading to rewinds. But overall just fine with such a long book.
Hope he writes more!
I saw that this book was 20 hours long and wondered if it was going to bang on a bit and have a lot of drivel, as i am English i do have some interest in the topic already as it is my own history! It does not bang on at all, instead you actually need 20 or so hours to explain EVERYTHING that you might see when you do in fact go back to Elizabethan times, right down to the glass on windows or the types of crooks that are around!
This book is a really interesting listen and you can actually picture the scene as it is described to you and i have come out of it knowing a lot more about Elizabethan England. I found the topics jump a bit from time to time but all in all its a good book that keeps you listening.
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