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The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England Audiobook

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

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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 (926 )
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4.6 (767 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Stephen Shatin, Hong Kong 06-03-11
    Stephen Shatin, Hong Kong 06-03-11 Member Since 2002
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    "Best travel book ever"

    I have always enjoyed medieval history and historical fiction. My favourite setting is England, and my favourite century is the fourteenth. This is a travel guide to England in the fourteenth century, and it really brought the time and place brilliantly to life. It is all in the present tense, and really does succeed in putting you right there among villeins, yeomen, sheriffs, forest outlaws, minstrelry, the 'great pestilence' (black death), manorial courts, etc etc. Loved every minute of it.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura h. 08-14-16
    Laura h. 08-14-16 Member Since 2015

    Hello! My name is Laura and I devour books.

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    "By God's Bones! Cry Honor!"

    By God's Bones!!
    Call me a drassok or a fopdoodle or even a poopdoddy! I so gleefully fling my chingers at this author, in thanks.
    This book may be a fearbabe, but a good one it be!
    Gramercy to ye beauteous story reader!

    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
  •  
    Alan Rither 08-04-12
    Alan Rither 08-04-12
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    "Not for the casual 'time traveler' but great"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England to be better than the print version?

    Hearing the mellifluous voice of Jonathan Keeble with his British accent definitely added to the impression that I was about to go on an adventurous journey to the time and place that the author described.


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

    I'd compare it to some Bill Bryson books on travel


    What about Jonathan Keeble’s performance did you like?

    As mentioned, his accent contributed to the authenticity of the story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    You see the sights and hear the sounds, but be thankful that you don't smell the aromas.


    Any additional comments?

    For anyone who enjoys reading about the Middle Ages, it is a great companion to such books as Sir Gwain and the Green Knight and Chaucer's Tales because it helps put such stories into their proper context. Otherwise it's easy to transport such works into our contemporary society and be shocked by customs that were common then.

    3 of 4 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
  •  
    Em 05-13-12
    Em 05-13-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
Sort by:
  • 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.

    1 of 1 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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Petra
    London, United Kingdom
    2/1/15
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    Performance
    Story
    "Essential background for amateur historians"

    Thoroughly enjoyable and quite different from other history books that I have read. The author aims to immerse the reader in the 14th century and so he does.
    Beautifully read.
    I enjoyed most the chapter on contemporary literature.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 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

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • L. Mitchell
    Lancaster, UK
    4/8/13
    Overall
    "History, learned painlessly"

    If you were terrible at history in school, like me, but would love to learn a bit more about how everything worked, who was in charge and what it might have been like to live in the past, then this is an amazing book. I usually get audiobooks for the car, but on this one I couldn't hit pause! The narrator had a good pace and the topics from chapter to chapter were really interesting. Will definitely be recommending to friends!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Margaret
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    1/10/12
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • RICHARD
    Clevedon, United Kingdom
    11/8/11
    Overall
    "Good'ish in a difficult subject"

    I've always been into Medieval history. This book is good on detail, does chop through things at quite a steady pace and mentions the same things a few times (suppose it's going to happen)... I listen to it while cycling... A few boring bits... But keep with it... Overall worth listening too...

    5 of 7 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
  • Knucklebones
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    8/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Two stars off for the lack of proper chapters!"

    A very interesting if rather over-long 'rough guide' to medieval England, going into immense detail about every aspect of life in the 1300s. It certainly gave me a very good flavour of how life would have been and in particular made me more aware of Edward III and his achievements (such as introducing English as the official language at court). Some sections were much more interesting than others, but generally it kept its grip throughout.

    I thought the narrator was OK - at times his delivery was a little too fast when dealing with quite detailed information so I had to scroll back to hear it again; at other times it was just teetering on 'dry as dust'. I'm not sure, though, whether a more dramatic narrator would have fared better with reeling off such a wealth of detail.

    At almost 12 hours' running time this is an immensely long and generally enjoyable listen, but it was almost wrecked for me because it's been lazily chopped up into arbitrary 35-40 minute segments, making it almost impossible to find a particular section again or relocate my latest listening point. Usually I'd only deduct one star for this failing, but in such a long audiobook it makes it very hard work when every 'chapter' starts somewhere in the middle of a section.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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