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
"A jaunty journey through the 14th century, one that wriggles with the stuff of everyday life." (Guardian)
I am sure that both would be excellent if I could access Part II
I cannot say until Audible loads part II
I cannot say until I hear the whole book. This will not happen until Audible untangles the technical issues and gets part II to me.
I cannot have an opinion until Audible sends the rest of the book.
Where is part II?
I really enjoyed this...cool way to deliver historical information...if you're even remotely interested in this topic, I recommend you give it a listen
For me, history comes alive when I can understand the world in which people lived. While there's not a lot of "story" here, Mortimer does a great job of painting a picture of what the century would have been like, especially coming from our perspective. He says that one cannot truly understand one's own century without first coming to know two others. I think that is true.
Exceptionally interesting and well presented monologue covering a period of interest for me. The author touches on the "why" as well as the "what".
This was a detailed and interesting book. The scenes were very well described and came alive in my mind as I listened. Very well written and read, with a touch of humour.
There was a lot of interesting information about the time period that I didnt anything about.
The people in medieval England called the stream where they dumped their waste "Shitbrook"
There were no characters.
Go back in time without leaving your chair
The book is a bit elementary but still an informative read. I do wonder if the premise is a bit far-fetched, but it seemed to work okay
yes, i have several times. Always interesting and engaging. you catch things you missed the first or even the second time.
the narration is engaging and the qualitiy of the product is excellent
I have listened to this audio book 4 complete times now
Well constructed and well read. I have the book too. Best overview I have found.
I keep going back and try to listen and finish this. It is very interesting but I enjoy it more in bits and pieces and not all in one "listen." Eventually I am sure that I will finish it, a little at a time.
This is the history book it should be.
I can't find enough good words to compliment Mr Ian Mortimer.
It's read in good and live language, it has just enough details about every aspect of late medieval life in England. It's not too wide in it's subject and it's not too narrow. Yet it has some new information for every one.
The reader would especially appreciate that no descriptions of scotts are given, Since no one book can adequately paint the life of both people. It's concentrated on subject and is good at it.
This fantastic book is so much more fun to listen to then the staged medieval/prehistoric fact/fiction slashies I'm normally stuck with when trying to draw myself into the past. Very very enjoyable - and I don't have to worry about the veracity!
Just brilliant. Covers so many subjects, from food,drink, transport, social attitudes, costume, trade, law, , medicine, disease, housing and social hierarchy, showing the author's vast knowledge.
What a great listen. There is so much information in this riveting book it deserves to be a classic.
I have listened to this in the car, then rewound the ipod and listened to the same piece again at night before bed.
This book takes you into the medieval times with such clarity and understanding. It is a joy to share.
This is well worth the listen
"A fantastic listen"
This is a reall interesting book, describing the life of our medieval ancestors in a very accessible way. I found the descriptions fascinating and the book was narrated beautifully by Jonathan Keeble - exactly the right tone and pace for me.
"Medieval world brought to life"
An interesting fact filled pleasure to listen to with that "un-put-downable" factor. So good I bought the Elizabethan book! Go ahead enjoy a good read.
In my forties now i hated history at school, but felt i needed something to keep up with my young daughters never ending questions on the subject. This was surprisingly good, infact i will go as far as to say i really enjoyed it and will certainly listen to more from this author.
A fantastic book read by an equally fantastic reader! Mr Keeble obviously really enjoyed reading this book, his enthusiasm is evident all the way through and it's so easy to get pulled along with him and laugh with him too.
It's so interesting finding out about how our ancestors lived, worked and died all those years ago and Ian Mortimer writes in such a way that you don't want the book to end. Highly recommended!
"Gripping and immediate!"
I found this book so fascinating that I listened to it twice in a row! Ian Mortimer gives an immediate and gripping account of Medieval England, described as though you are walking through its very streets. The enormity of the Black Death, the horror of leprosy, the din of the trumpets going into battle, the taste of potage and the merriment of dancing hand in hand - all are brought home to the listener in vivid colour, as though you are standing on the spot watching on. Its a great introduction to the period and the narration is excellent too.
"Very enlightening for the novice"
The is a brave attempt to bring the middle ages to life, and it mostly works. I say mostly partly because the narration is a bit, well, square! It’s all a bit monotone and not how the author probably intended. But if you can ignore this then it is a very good and enlightening introduction to this period.
The book is broken up into short chapters which concentrate on a particular subject such as dress, or houses, or social structure. And it contains enough entertaining little facts to make you smile from time to time, so it does not become too heavy. Enough to make you want to find out more, or just to make your next visit to a historic site more interesting.
However anybody expecting something as entertaining as Bill Bryson’s Short History of Nearly Everything will be a bit disappointed. A worthy read all the same if you want to find out more about this period.
"A stroll through history"
This is an excellent book, and the narrator remains engaging and informative throughout.
What is striking is how very similar life in the medaevil time was to life today. People still worked for bosses who kept the lion's share of any profit, took trips to see famous sights where they bought souvenirs, saw doctors who were basically making it up as they went along, and if accused of a crime, found the burden of proof to be upon themselves to prove their innocence.
I especially enjoyed the chapters on travelling around the country and the sights and people you were likely to meet, and the way the book explodes many long-held myths about life in the 14th Century.
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