Saturday, 30 April 2011

The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer


DATE READ: March 2011

NOTES: An extremely readable approach to medieval life. Ian Mortimer points out that “Medieval England” covers a very long time span and so rightly chooses to concentrate on one century – the fourteenth. It is written in guide book style and gives us insights into what life was like for people (or travellers) of that time. He describes the landscape, homes, food, clothes, health and transport. There is a fascinating chapter were on Health and Hygiene – if you do get ill you are best to avoid the ministrations of doctors! It was also best to try to keep to the right side of the law but even this might not keep you out of trouble. The short, sharp shock was very much in vogue at the time. But as Mortimer points out the law is designed to find somebody guilty – it does not necessarily follow that that somebody is the person responsible for the crime in question.

This is a really fascinating and insightful book into an England of long ago. It is obviously meticulously researched but wears its scholarship lightly as it is a very entertaining read. It is helped by the selection of superb colour illustrations.

An essential for any potential Time Traveller…….

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