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Publisher's Summary

On the heels of her triumphant How to Be a Victorian, Ruth Goodman travels even further back in English history to the era closest to her heart, the dramatic period from the crowning of Henry VII to the death of Elizabeth I.

Drawing on her own adventures living in re-created Tudor conditions, Goodman serves as our intrepid guide to 16th-century living. Proceeding from daybreak to bedtime, this charming, illustrative work celebrates the ordinary lives of those who labored through the era. From sounding the "hue and cry" to alert a village to danger to malting grain for homemade ale, from the gruesome sport of bear-baiting to cuckolding and cross-dressing - the madcap habits and revealing intimacies of life in the time of Shakespeare are vividly rendered for the insatiably curious.

©2016 Ruth Goodman. First American Edition 2016. Recorded by arrangement with Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. (P)2016 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"If the past is a foreign country, we’re lucky to have such a knowledgeable cicerone as Ruth Goodman." ( Wall Street Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book!

Have listened to this for a couple of evenings, and find it fascinating. Ruth Goodman has not only done meticulous research to offer an intimate view of what life during the Tudor period would have been like for the average person, she has a delightfully engaging way of presenting it. What could easily be dull information, she has presented in a manner that has made all this fascinating. Now, at last, for instance, I have learned a good explanation for why Shakespeare left his "second best bed" to his wife. And this book is narrated beautifully. What I find best about it is that I can return to it time and again to learn new things I didn't pick up fully in the first listen. Highly recommend. If you are someone who enjoys going to Renaissance festivals, this book might be for you. Or if you just enjoy having a deeper peek into the lives of folk from the time of the Tudors in England. Quite a fun listen.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Really wanted to like this

The necessarily dry nature of the material is dragged, snoring, beyond the edge of tedium by the robotic narration.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I almost wish Ruth had narrated

Sure the narrator was very pleasant to listen to and did a great job. However, I adore how excited Ruth gets when she discusses history and that would have been a fun bonus. This was a fun and interesting book and is a must read for anyone who loves Ruth on her different tv series (Tudor Monastery Farm Er al). She references a few of those shows in this book (though not in an obnoxious way or in a way that would be hard to follow for those unfamiliar with the shows...it was a nice tie in for the familiar). Ruth brings the history of the common person to life with the fun, insightful, and passionate way that fans would expect.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Emotionless narrator leaves a bit to be desired

Other than the slightly robotic narrator, the book was very good. I really enjoy Ruth Goodman and the Tudor time period.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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for history lovers of the common

informative, accessible and entertaining. highly recommended for anyone interested in late medieval period, and "regular" peoples' lives and living.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Best History Book I’ve Ever Read

I attend Renaissance Fairs as a vendor and needed to know how a shop owner would be expected to dress and how a woman in Tudor England would think and act, what kind of things she would talk about or not talk about.

This book gave me a wide and detailed understanding on “How to be a Tudor” ordinary person in a very interesting way!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Colby
  • Tucson, AZ, United States
  • 01-23-18

Delightful domestic history

Goodman is a social historian much acquainted with the Tudor era. Her research and experience result in a tour through the day, from waking to sleep, with a variety of social classes, men and women, from the reign of Henry VII through the death of Elizabeth I.

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Tudor life comes alive!

I loved this book! We have to add it to our Elizabethan and Tudor library as a reference. Well done and well read.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Thorough and comprehensive

Thorough, specific in content; can slow down at points but worth it for the knowledge and comprehensive information the author offers

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Odd ending

Where does How to Be a Tudor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Well researched book...however, the ending is odd (or an error?).

Any additional comments?

Very descriptive prose. The author's actual experience, utilizing Tudor era techniques, brings life to the past. Wonderful

1 of 2 people found this review helpful