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 enjoyed the interesting details of the times that I got from the book and had a lot of my own myths corrected. The framing device of being a tour guide for time travelers was fine, however the author seemed to feel the need to justify the device repeatedly, as if he was an academic wary of being accused of engaging in 'popular' writing without the most noble of intentions. All that was boring and pointless, but only made up a small portion of the book. Occasionally the narrative lapsed into lists and dates that were not very useful in an audiobook.
I listened to the whole thing in 2x time and didn't feel like I missed anything as the reader was very clear and easy on the ears.
This book is incredibly easy to listen to. The narration is wonderful.
The author really gets into the sights sounds and smell of life, and just draws you in. While I was super enjoyong all the descriptions, I ended with a new appreciation for present-day.
This is one of those books that you can put on in the background while you're busy and if you miss a part, it's not absolutely crucial for you to back it up. It's interesting enough that I've probably listened to it 3 or 4 times...and will likely listen again sometime :) Overall, this book was well worth my time.
I loved the way that Ian Mortimer organized and presented his material. Jonathan Keebler's reading brought the material to life. I give this Audio book five stars all the way around.
I've listened to many audio books about medieval Europe and have enjoyed them all, but most of them were filled with specifics about the monarchy and battles, etc. which is great but makes me have to rewind a lot to keep putting things in order. This book was fun be a use it doesn't go into a lot of specifics in that way, it just tells how exactly how life was back then. It was neat the way it's all done from the readers perspective as a traveller, literally involving all your senses. I'd love to listen to one just like it about ancient Rome! I really liked it and went through it very quickly. Now I have to wait a long time for my next Audible book. Thank goodness for Overdrive!!
I've truly enjoyed this historical travel narrative. It was different from most history books because of how it was presented , and was incredibly fun to listen to. The narrator did an excellent job and I very much liked his voice. I found it a great way to get an idea of what the 14th century was like. It doesn't go into great detail if you're already familiar with the period, but for someone like me who is just starting to explore the history of medieval England, it was perfect!
I throughly enjoyed this book. As an American, the history of England (and Europe) feels a little overwhelming with so much to take in. Learning from the perspective of "living it", at least for me, was a great way to explore a world that seemed so foreign and bring it to life. A definite must in your library for your studies of English history.
Covering every aspect of the prime era of Medieval England, this completely immersive book is amazing. Ian Mortimer puts you on the streets, describing everything from castles to commoners. If you're an Anglophile or a history fan, this one's for you.
As an informative book, there was no particular character. England herself was the character, and she's beautiful in any era.
I've listened to both Mortimer's "Time Traveler's" books, and I prefer this reader to the one who did the Guide to Elizabethan England (but it was also brilliant)
Although everything is described in amazing detail, I still longed for a time machine so I could see it with my own eyes.
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".
"Horrible history for adults"
I wish these books had been part of my history lessons when I was at school. Fabulous insight into the realities of medieval life. Well constructed and very well read. Thoroughly enjoyable.
"Interesting then seems to repeat itself"
It's an interesting concept and makes history more relevant to today. It felt somewhat repetitive towards the end though.
"A fascinating tale, well told!"
It was very enjoyable to listen to the story because this had the advantage of hearing the old English spoken aloud which added to the sense of being in mediaeval England.
It was so interesting to hear in detail about the devestation on the population and economy caused by the plague Also hearing about how some things changed very little over the century and how some things were completely different.
Jonathan Keeble has a very easy voice to listen to, very pleasant.
An excellent book and very well read.
"Take a copy when you travel"
A heartily recommend this book to anyone intending to travel back into the past. Informative and packed through with facts and stories to keep you interested.
The narration is excellent, clear and with the tone just right.
"time travellers guide to medieval england"
A fascinating and enthralling journey through the ups and downs of life in medieval england. It looked at things from an unusual perspective and made you think more deeply about life then and now. It was enjoyable and light hearted at times and didn't condescend . Jonathan Keeble's voice was easy to listen to and enhanced the words.
"Enjoyable and refreshing history book"
I really enjoyed this book and its narrative history slant. There are a few choice words (entirely in context) so be careful if, like me, you decide to listen to the book in the car with children present!
It is read very clearly and with great character too which added a lot to my enjoyment of this book.
"Great and Informative"
Loved this book It was the first book I purchased on audible.It is very informative and the narrator is easy on the ear. I cleared my whole garden last summer whilst listening to this
certainly made that chore easier!
"History brought to life"
The title of this audio book is perfect. The listener is transported back in time and left to take in the sounds, sights and smells of medieval England. The clothes, the food, the bed bugs are all there right in your face, as if you are really there.Such an experience of history - not simply a list of facts to remember - '1066 and all that'- is remarkable and unlike anything I have read before. This audio book shows just how exciting history can and should be when told and taught with great skill and empathy for the listener.
"If Only My History Lesson's Had Been Like This."
I adore this audiobook, to me it conjures up smells and the atmosphere of a fascinating era. It reminds me of a History teacher in my junior school, he made lessons fun and so interesting that you absorbed the knowledge that has stayed with me to this day. It is such a shame my secondary teachers did not have this skill.
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!
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