Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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

All aboard for a trip back into Medieval England to truly experience the good, the bad, and the ugly of 14th century England. Written like a travel guide, The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England is a book that truly makes you feel as if you were on vacation to another place and time.

Ian Mortimer holds nothing back in his objective recreation of the fourteenth century. His impeccable research reveals numerous startling and long forgotten truths about many aspects of life.

The book is divided into 11 chapters:

The Landscape
The People
The Medieval Character
Basic Essentials
What to Wear
Traveling
Where to Stay
What to Eat and Drink
Health and Hygiene
The Law
What to Do

By using actual examples, Ian Mortimer was able to convey the simplest facts about daily living. One of my favourite chapters was the Health and Hygiene, which covered numerous topics from human waste, to bathing, to laundering clothes, and how women cleaned her home. He delved deeply into life and death especially during the plague and described how the style of dress evolved.

For historians or those who love history, this book is an invaluable source of immpecably researched facts. Simple to read, uncomplicated in format, and highly entertaining, this book will leave you surprised, shocked, and horrified at times. What a wonderful opportunity to truly experience the turbulence and charm of life more than 600 years ago.