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The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century | [Ian Mortimer]

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

Imagine you could travel back to the 14th century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? And what are you going to eat? Ian Mortimer shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. He sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking you to the Middle Ages. The result is the most astonishing social history book you are ever likely to read: evolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining in its detail.
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Publisher's Summary

Imagine you could travel back to the 14th century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? And what are you going to eat?

Ian Mortimer shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. He sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking you to the Middle Ages.

The result is the most astonishing social history book you are ever likely to read: evolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining in its detail, and startling for its portrayal of humanity in an age of violence, exuberance and fear.

©2008 Ian Mortimer; (P)2009 Isis Publishing Ltd

What the Critics Say

"A jaunty journey through the 14th century, one that wriggles with the stuff of everyday life." (Guardian)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (591 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Margaret San Francisco, CA USA 02-22-12
    Margaret San Francisco, CA USA 02-22-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Hope they keep them coming."
    Where does The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    My favorite in the history category to be sure! I hope the writers continue exploring the past with this format.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandon SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA, United States 06-29-13
    Brandon SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA, United States 06-29-13 Member Since 2011
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    "At times, you almost feel your are there."

    I was quite surprised at how effectively this book immersed me in 14th century England, largely by simply changing the tense of verbs and writing in the second person. I've heard this book described as a 'gimmick', apparently unbecoming of a professional historian, but it turns what could otherwise be a rather dry history of tax ledgers, merchant inventories, archaeological insights, city codes, and business regulations into a fascinating picture of the world our ancestors lived in 700 years ago. Make no mistake, this is a professionally researched and highly accurate social history of the 14th century, the amount of research that must have gone into it is astounding in its own right. But it is presented in such a way as to be both useful to the professional historian and quite entertaining to the average reader. You will learn a lot from this book, though it is never a chore; but more than simply learning about the period, you will come to understand the hopes, fears, and concerns that motivated the people who lived through it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Francesca 05-27-13
    Francesca 05-27-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Fascinating Account of Medieval Social History"

    Mortimer brings Medieval England to life with his time traveller's guide. This book is rich in fascinating details of medieval life, many of which I heard for the first time despite having a degree in European history. Mortimer's approach to writing this book as though a travel guide really made me rethink the way I read, understand and analyze history. The stories and details take place in familiar places and in a history we all know well but it was not until I listened to this book that I felt I began to have a real understanding of the culture of the past and the people who lived in it.
    Chapters are divided into sections such as law, food, travel, entertainment, etc. and explains to the would be traveller what he/she would be likely to encounter in Medieval England and dangers to look out for along the way.
    My only complaint is that, at times, in the interest of providing more scholarly detail, the book slips away from its travel guide style that is so enjoyable.
    I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in British history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Mount Martha, Australia 10-15-12
    Ann Mount Martha, Australia 10-15-12
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    "Bravo"

    Wonderful, brilliant, magnificent - the final words brought tears to my eyes. Will listen to again & seek out similar works

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Ithaca, NY, United States 09-10-12
    Michael Ithaca, NY, United States 09-10-12

    Physicist

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    "Minus 1 star for not including music samples"
    If you could sum up The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England in three words, what would they be?

    history, medieval, england


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England?

    Description of the elaborate outfits worn by the nobility.


    What about Jonathan Keeble’s performance did you like?

    His accent fit the theme of the book, but was not overpowering. A peppering of music examples where appropriate would have been a nice touch.


    Any additional comments?

    The producers of this recording should have included a couple examples of the songs and instruments played during the period.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Mettler Seattle, WA USA 09-10-12
    John Mettler Seattle, WA USA 09-10-12 Member Since 2012

    I have a primary love of music and pretty much an insatiable curiosity of history, art, science, current affairs, and all things bicycling.

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    "The Time Traveller"

    A unique approach to telling the every day lives of the peoples that lived during this period in world history. Most books that give over views of a large historical period usually get lost in the names and dates of this and that, by using a travel log approach Mr Mortimer puts you into the period.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Irene Saskatoon, SK, Canada 09-02-12
    Irene Saskatoon, SK, Canada 09-02-12 Member Since 2011
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    "General information, very well presented"
    Where does The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the first non-fiction titles I've ever listened to, and I'm glad to say that I really enjoyed it! It was well put together and presented, and very well read.


    What about Jonathan Keeble’s performance did you like?

    There was a lot of humour in Keeble's performance, which was very appropriate to the style of the book. A "travel guide" to a particular time in history is an amusing idea, and Keeble presented the subject matter in an upbeat and appealing manner, all without discounting the seriousness of current issues of the day nor diminishing the daily reality of people living at the time.


    Any additional comments?

    I would have liked to hear more about the Peasant's Revolt near the end of the century.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Ashley Kapolei, HI United States 07-30-12
    Kate Ashley Kapolei, HI United States 07-30-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Engaging!"

    Written in an engaging style - definitely not dry or 'text-book' style - very much like a travel guide to a location. It connected activities, events, and customs to present day. Jonathan Keeble's performance was so fluid, it was as though you could've been sitting across from him in a pub just having a chat. I just came back from a trip to England and had a marvelous time - wished I had listened to this before! Having visited some of the locales mentioned really fleshed out the imagery for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cole Boyd Goose Creek, SC, United States 07-01-12
    Cole Boyd Goose Creek, SC, United States 07-01-12

    My goal is to be one of the greatest literary giants in writing. Though my books do not sell, my goal now is to help those who are successful in writing, to become even greater.

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    "Ian Mortier is Immortal for Time Traveller's Guide"
    What did you love best about The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England?

    Mortier brings the reader face to face with the conditions of real life, real smells, and real emotions of this turbulent era of Medieval History. I believe all A.P. World History Teachers should recommend their students buy this audio version. We are in a digital age, and print is now heard more than read or will be within 20 years. Mortier could bring this arte (art in Greek) effort to the Renaissance or the Byzantine Empire.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England?

    The Opening where he states: "Imagine you are in..." To be honest I have yet to finish this work, but it is so engaging the listener or reader is immersed in the time traveler narrative device Mortier places in our ears.


    What does Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It is the pace Keeble brings to the peace which fits the historical context of the Opus. Jonathan Keeble does not try to be something he is not. He is, to be sure, a noted historian of us own right.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes this book is of great repeating value.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trippe 05-13-12
    Trippe 05-13-12 Member Since 2013
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    "wonderful"
    Where does The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Although before listening, I was on the fence with this book... I found myself ranking it among my top reads/listens lately.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Mortimer presents the facts of the period alongside the concerns and questions one might ask in various situations. This approach to history truly puts you in the middle of Medieval England. A retelling of history that is as entertaining as any great historical fiction.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Fiona Seltzer
    Glasgow
    1/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Transported"

    In daydreaming one thinks "how wonderful to nip back in time"....but would it be wonderful"....this excellent book covers every bit of your journey ,all the. Bits you hadn't quite thought through ,like is it safe to travel to the next town ,how do I find it ,what is the state if the road,how do I wash ,where do I go to the loo....and of course "does my bum look big in this".....well perhaps not in those words but what do I wear.....questions I never knew I would need to know and all well narrated......I enjoyed it so much I bought the other book and enjoyed it just as much

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Michael
    Cheadle, United Kingdom
    11/5/11
    Overall
    "Quite Interesting"

    I found this quite an interesting book. I do wonder if I might have taken it in a bit more reading it rather than listening to it but it was still good and you'll find yourself coming out with various nuggets out of it either with friends or colleagues. Narration was fine.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Matt Stagg
    10/28/11
    Overall
    "A real journey into the past"

    If only the authorities made this style of presenting history mandatory in our schools.....Ian Mortimer really brings out the way in which England worked in the 14th Century. Interestingly, and unusually, this book covers not only the gentry, but the lives of the everyday man, woman and child, whose stories are often untold.

    I am not a monster of history, so can commend this book to anyone who has a modicum of interest in learning a bit about how we got to where we are.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ken
    ENFIELD, United Kingdom
    10/19/11
    Overall
    "TIME TRAVELLERS GUIDE"

    IMPOSSIBLE TO STOP READING.I REFER BACK TO IT ALL THE TIME AND CONSTANTLY FIND PASSAGES THAT HOLD MY INTEREST AND EXPAND MY KNOWLEDGE.DON'T MISS THE CHANCE TO ENJOY THIS WELL WRITTEN AND EYE OPENING TREATISE.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. J. White
    Newcastle upon tyne England
    7/31/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mesmerising!"

    Absolutely fascinating, interesting and fixes you way back in the 1400's, so much so you can almost taste it, touch it and smell it, it's been a pleasure and then some.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    7/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "interesting concept and enjoyable informative list"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    For anyone interested in history and likes something a little different every now and then, then this book is for you.


    What other book might you compare The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England to, and why?

    I haven't listened to an audio book quite like this before


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book was amusing but thought provoking at the same time


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Caroline S.
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Accessible and vivid descriptions of life then"
    Where does The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best!
    Excellent - it engages one from the very beginning, and continues to fascinate with vivid descriptions of life in those times.
    I had never enjoyed history at school, but this audiobook painted a fascinating and enthralling picture of life in Medieval England.


    What other book might you compare The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England to, and why?

    Probably Time Travellers Guide to Tudor England, because it approaches the subject in a similar way - ie it gets you to imagine you are living in that period, then builds and informs on a wide tprange of observations.


    Which character – as performed by Jonathan Keeble – was your favourite?

    His authoritative narration is what held my attention.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes - it made me feel reassured! Because it provided a true sense of our history, which was quite different from any reaction I had from the history I was taught at school.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you for opening up my understanding of our history through listening!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Annie
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Interesting Read"
    What did you like most about The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England?

    It is a very clear account of this period in our history and so easy to digest the facts.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England?

    I was so interested in the friar who predicted vehicles that would travel without horses, vehicles that would travel under water and in the sky. Perhaps time travellers do really exist.


    Which character – as performed by Jonathan Keeble – was your favourite?

    There are no characters in the book, it is a narration of history.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A fascinating glimpse into a past century.


    Any additional comments?

    A very interesting and comprehensive book, very easy to listen to and in no way boring if one is interested in history. Excellent narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flint
    7/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I loved it"

    It is probably best listened to in chunks and you will almost certainly need to listen to this book more than once because there is so much information to take in. I love it because you really got a feeling of the sights, smells, sounds and the whole atmosphere of the time. This is one of those books I will keep coming back to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Farniboy
    Wirral, UK
    6/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hitchhikers Guide + Lonely Planet for Dr Who!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I's recommend this book for anyone with an interest in medieval social history.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Its not a story and so it puzzles me why Audible ask this stupid bloody question about factual books, especially when it goes on to ask who your favourite character is!!! Book up your ideas Audible you sell the books, sort out a review system tailored to the specific book. As the world's largest online retailer you shouldn't find it hard. Pay some tax whilst your at it....


    What does Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Good informative reading. I couldn't help but be reminded of the calm, authoritative tones of the Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy on the BBC excellent adaptation of Douglas Adam's classics.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Found a TARDIS? Going to medieval times? You need this book in your life!


    Any additional comments?

    A great way to garner an understanding of life in medieval England. It deals with a myriad of different subjects from latrine cleaners to Kings, food, medicine, agricultural in a warm, witty educational way!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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