The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook

The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook



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

  1. LeeAnne LeeAnne says:

    A very fun, entertaining book Here are a few things I learned The Landscape There are almost no conifer or evergreen trees in the middle ages so the winter skyline is particularly bleak.There are no grey squirrels, only red ones The grey variety has yet to reach Britain Cattle and sheep are smaller than their modern counterparts much smaller.There are no wolves The last English wolf was killed in North Lancashire in the 14th century.The People Half of the entire population are under the A very fun, entertaining book Here are a few things I learned The Landscape There are almost no conifer or evergreen trees in the middle ages so the winter skyline is particularly bleak.There are no grey squirrels, only red ones The grey variety has yet to reach Britain Cattle and sheep are smaller than their modern counterparts much smaller.There are no wolves The last English wolf was killed in North Lancashire in the 14th century.The People Half of the entire population are under the age of 21 so everyone is inexperienced and immature Imagine a nation being run by a bunch of hormonal teenage boys People marry at age 14 Many commanders in the Army are still in their teens.A woman who is 30 years old is considered to be in the winter of her life Women are blamed for all intellectual and moral weaknesses in society and are basically viewed as deformed men The avg medieval person is considerably shorter than their counterparts of today, although nobility are about the same height as today This disparity in height is due to genetic selection as well as difference in diet The extra height gives a nobleman a considerable advantage in a fight.Speaking of fighting, it is not unusual to come across men who have lost eyes, ears and limbs in wars A surprisingly large amount of men have to hobble around without a leg or with foot injuries that never healed correctly.Food The main staple of food is bread something called pottage a thick stew of oats or peas green pottage or leeks white pottage that has been boiled into a mush for several hours over a fire If you have a garden, you will throw in some herbs, garlic and cabbage Add left over bread crumbs as thickener and that s your daily meal when you are not eating plain bread.Most peasants have very few opportunities to eat meat, dairy or even fish Pickled and salted herring is the only kind of fish they usually eat If you have a well kept fruit orchard you are very lucky and can make preserves from apples, pears, berries, plums and grapes.A Medieval Street in York, EnglandThe Language In 1300 the nobility speak French, not English If you can t speak French, you can t command any respect Only the lowly poor peons speak English Nobody commissions any literature in English Not until 1350 when King Edward the III, who speaks English, expresses pride in the English language, do aristocrats begin to speak English as well as French Hygiene People rarely bathed or did laundry but did wash their hands before each meal A peasant usually had only one set of clothes.Health In the Great Plague, 35% 45% of the entire population is wiped out in just 9 months Thousands of villages are left empty If you are lucky enough to avoid catching the plague, don t relax too much, leprosy or tuberculosis might still get you If you do get sick, and are wealthy enough to pay a physician, he will not need to see you in person to treat you because diagnosis are based on astronomy You will also be diagnosed by the color and smell of your urine and the taste of your blood.There is so muchin this book, but I can t tell you everything Please read it It s really good


  2. Nicky Nicky says:

    As a history book, this is an interesting format and it s reasonably engaging, though by the end I was starting to get worn down by the sheer level of detail But what bothered me was that apparently, if you want to time travel, you d better be male there s some lip service paid to actually discussing women s role in society, with some references to the kind of work women did mostly make ale, I gather , and quite a lot of reference to the kind of clothes women wore, and how likely women were As a history book, this is an interesting format and it s reasonably engaging, though by the end I was starting to get worn down by the sheer level of detail But what bothered me was that apparently, if you want to time travel, you d better be male there s some lip service paid to actually discussing women s role in society, with some references to the kind of work women did mostly make ale, I gather , and quite a lot of reference to the kind of clothes women wore, and how likely women were to be assaulted and raped, but We hear about monks and not about nuns, about merchants and not about their wives, about farmers and not their daughters And don t give me the excuse about that not being interesting to read about nor is intricate detail about what a monk can eat on which days, for most people In summary to time travel, apparently you have to be male And only men are interesting Slightly disappointed I paid for this book right now


  3. Petra-X Petra-X says:

    These books on going back in time present the times as great political machinations from the King or Queen in London Food grown locally and cooked from scratch each day Clothes sewn to last No vehicles or chemical fumes but walking or for the rich, riding in the open air Hard work, but rewarding, a day that starts when the sun rises and finished when the candles sputter out But what they don t say is that no one much knew what was going on in London if they didn t live close as there These books on going back in time present the times as great political machinations from the King or Queen in London Food grown locally and cooked from scratch each day Clothes sewn to last No vehicles or chemical fumes but walking or for the rich, riding in the open air Hard work, but rewarding, a day that starts when the sun rises and finished when the candles sputter out But what they don t say is that no one much knew what was going on in London if they didn t live close as there wasn t any mass communication and by the time the horses brought the post, changed at every Post House view spoiler my parents lived in a Post House at one time It is where the horses were changed for fresh ones combined with an inn hide spoiler it must have been like Chinese whispers A good story, but who knew how much was true But then nothing much happened fast then anyway.Food might have been plentiful in the spring and summer, but what about the winter Porridge andvegetables no potatoes, no rice, no spaghetti must have got boring as the mainstay of every day And whose clothes were sewn to last The clothes of the wealthy, everyone else wore handmedowns or ragged outfits Who of the poor had a tailor and the time to sew fine stitches after work was done given that it was only candle light in the evening People hardly ever went anywhere They didn t get time off, they mostly had neither horses nor money and a journey to the nearest city for market day These towns and cities were tiny, smelly with no sewage but everyone putting out their night soil and emptying their piss pots into the street below There weren t many books Musical instruments were expensive But beer was cheap and that led quite often to sex, people s most enjoyable occupation For much of this time period it was mandatory to go to Church, it was a crime not to So Saturday nights were on the booze and fornication and Sunday was repentance in case of hellfire, which most people it seemed firmly believed in.The Church was the biggest landholder, employer and source of education of the day, and it firmly disapproved of all this drunkenness and whoring around and the consequent illegitimate babies No one else minded that much though But some did, and come the time of Oliver Cromwell and the deposing of King Charles who didn t really mind debauchery and dancing, and liked a bit of gourmand excess and seduction himself, they took off.And that s how you got America What do you think was the worst thing about the middle ages, Stuart or Tudor and the rest as well Do you think it was there hardly any books, no internet or cell phones and it must have been really effing boring Or perhaps everything was ok, but lack of medical care, or worse, no fries They didn t have potatoes in England back then, so no fries to go along with the burger So what do you think was the worst thing about waybackthen


  4. Orsolya Orsolya says:

    Most of us who read history or historical fiction set in Medieval or even Tudor England, can agree on one thing we can t understand the ways of life back then properly because we tend to apply modern morals and standards to history However, with the The Time Traveler s Guide to Medieval England , readers can finally understand Medieval times I guarantee you will never look at a history book the same again Divided into main sections such as the landscape, people, medieval character, what Most of us who read history or historical fiction set in Medieval or even Tudor England, can agree on one thing we can t understand the ways of life back then properly because we tend to apply modern morals and standards to history However, with the The Time Traveler s Guide to Medieval England , readers can finally understand Medieval times I guarantee you will never look at a history book the same again Divided into main sections such as the landscape, people, medieval character, what to eat drink, etc Ian Mortimer dives deep into medieval life His depth of information is staggering but never boring or overwhelming and allows the reader to fully understand medieval life which extends beyond knights and jousts Consider it a Medieval Times 101 crash course, as Mortimer focuses on the macro view of life versus individual kings or events although he does touch upon specifics as we are used to reading Although academic in topic, Mortimer s writing style is anything but as it is easy to understand, descriptive, and witty.The Time Traveler s Guide cleared up so much information in my mind which has been swimming around from the countless history books I have figuratively consumed The ranks of clergy, description of the privy seal and other seals , and even fun factoids such as the inception of acres , the defining term o clock , and even surnames John Ilbertson used to be John, son of Ilbert are included and explained in a clear and rational way The reader truly feels like he or she is visiting the past sort of like Scrooge with the Ghost of Christmas Past , observing life and almost being apart of it Mortimer is rich, colorful, and very informative There ARE some moments of overwhelming presentations, but that is due to the lack of standardization in England during that time and not due to Mortimer s writing style or expertise My favorite realization I FINALLY understood the differences between pennies, shillings, marks, and pounds In the past, my eyes have always glazed over during money talks in other history books.One qualm was the constant references to Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales Although Mortimer used a medium amount of sources for the book Chaucer is readily quoted and referred to If Chaucer was a brand and this book was a TV show, it would scream, product placement Also, the chapter regarding laws and court systems was confusing, but admittedly, I m not even interested in those topics in modern times so perhaps it just wasn t my cup of tea, personally Overall, The Time Traveler s Guide to Medieval England is an absolutely terrific book one of those works which you are sad to see end The crux of it all is Mortimer s passion for history There is no escaping it and it bleeds through his work More importantly, he views history in a different manner than the average person passing this ardor onto the reader, who will never view history or Medieval England the same again The Time Traveler s Guide to Medieval England should be used as the sourcebook for every subsequent medieval themed historical fiction book, play, TV show, commercial, etc Where was this book over 15 years ago when I was a school child partaking in our school s Medieval Faire Perhaps, I should travel back into that time


  5. abby abby says:

    The past is a foreign country they do things differently there L P HartleyTake this book along on your next trip to Medieval England to help ensure your travel experience is a smooth one Some things you might need to know for your journey If you are from Australia, you might be impressed that even in the 1300s people have some vague concept of existence of the continent However, you should keep in mind it s considered much too hot for man to inhabit, and instead is the home of crea The past is a foreign country they do things differently there L P HartleyTake this book along on your next trip to Medieval England to help ensure your travel experience is a smooth one Some things you might need to know for your journey If you are from Australia, you might be impressed that even in the 1300s people have some vague concept of existence of the continent However, you should keep in mind it s considered much too hot for man to inhabit, and instead is the home of creatures that hop around on a floppy, oversized foot that they use to shade themselves Don t eat meat on Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday The Church forbids it Seafood is permitted, but good luck finding some outside the nobility Water loving species like badgers and puffins count as seafood but please don t eat puffins Hospitals are for the sick, but also travelers If you stay there you might have the fun experience of sleeping in the same bed as someone with leprosy Speaking of lepers, try not to come down with a rash of any sort in the 1300s or you might be declared one and forced to wear a bell around your neck ask your cat about how this can damage your self esteem You might noticeblind horses wondering around than you d expect which would probably be no blind horses at all Blinding horses was the Medieval equivalent of scratching off vin numbers, meant to insure stolen beasts didn t make their way back home.This book is the slice of life history study I ve been searching for It s everything I d hoped Ruth Goodwin s How To Be a Tudor would be but wasn t I ve never had a strong interest in Medieval times or English history, but that s not required to enjoy this fast paced and fun book If I had one critique it would be to addinformation about the Church and the Plague, both of which dominated 14th century life but were absent throughout most of the book Highly recommended for history fans


  6. Dannii Elle Dannii Elle says:

    I have long found this period of history the most fascinating to read about What compels my interest is not the fierce battles or matters of court, butthe running of the day to day life of the common people, during this time.For that reason, it was like this book was penned with my particular desires in mind Unlike many other non fiction books, this was not set out in the typical chronological format Instead, this was split into sections that focused on one particular area of interest I have long found this period of history the most fascinating to read about What compels my interest is not the fierce battles or matters of court, butthe running of the day to day life of the common people, during this time.For that reason, it was like this book was penned with my particular desires in mind Unlike many other non fiction books, this was not set out in the typical chronological format Instead, this was split into sections that focused on one particular area of interest such as clothing, food, and housing Battles, the Black Plague, and other areas of historic interest were noted but little space was given over to dwelling on those subjects This isof an overview of how an average day would look like to an average citizen.I also adored how this book was penned, which fitted well with the structure of this book With the minimum of dryness and a sprinkle of humour all information was relayed It was neither sensational nor overly academic, but instead a steady mixture of them both As the title suggests, this book is written as if it were to be used as an actual guide for an actual future time traveller, assisting them on how best to fit in if they were to return to an average day from this period of history Average seems to be the word to best sum up this book s ultimate focus, but certainly not how I would describe how it delivered what many would perceive these rather banal facts


  7. Tracey Tracey says:

    Obviously, A Time Traveller s Guide to Medieval England was a title calculated to gain my attention The premise a different take on presenting an overview of a period of time, using the format of a travel guide something of a Fodor s England 1320 that might be found in the TARDIS Exploring the experience of all the senses, this should be a gem of a resource to the writer of historical fiction or fantasy From the introduction We might eat differently, be taller, and live longer, and we mi Obviously, A Time Traveller s Guide to Medieval England was a title calculated to gain my attention The premise a different take on presenting an overview of a period of time, using the format of a travel guide something of a Fodor s England 1320 that might be found in the TARDIS Exploring the experience of all the senses, this should be a gem of a resource to the writer of historical fiction or fantasy From the introduction We might eat differently, be taller, and live longer, and we might look at jousting as being unspeakably dangerous and not at all a sport, but we know what grief is, and what love, fear, pain, ambition, enmity, and hunger are We should always remember that what we have in common with the past is just as important real and essential to our lives as those things which make us different Er Almost lost me there Be taller I can let pass with a chuckle I d probably fit right in, heightwise, in 1320, tall only amongst hobbits oh actually, I d still be short women average 5 2 but I strenuously object to the remarks about jousting Dangerous Yes, and so are auto racing and football Not at all a sport Pfft Say that to Justin Lewis or Justin Ray Thompson s face, I dare you And before anyone can chime in, yes I m aware that the jousting of today bears about the same resemblance to 14th century joust as today s sword fighting resembles theirs But it s still a sportW.H Auden once suggested that to understand your own country, you need to have lived in at least two others One can say something similar for periods of time To understand your own century, you need to have come to terms with at least two othersI like it If nothing else, one wonderful thing about looking at another time period in this sort of format is as in the introduction, the oft repeated, but necessarily so, axiom that people never change There are some shifts in perception and tolerance bear and bull baiting are no longer remotely acceptable in much of the world, and the education of children no longer relies heavily on the rod, and it s no longer considered a hilarious lark to set a trap to string someone up by the ankle but it s taken centuries to shift such things out of the norm into the abnormal, and the behaviors or the desires toward them do still linger One point carried through this book is that, fundamentally, a medieval man or woman is not so very different from someone you d meet on the street right now Particularly if right now you re walking down a path at a Renaissance Faire, but that s a whole nother post I rather enjoy how almost point for point this book contradicts A World Lit Only By Fire As described there, the medieval period was dark lit only by fire and filthy and pest ridden, and the peasantry slogged their way through a short and grinding existence until they died of something which could probably be cured or prevented now In which there is some truth, of course but Ian Mortimer points out that a medieval man had no 21st century standard by which to judge his own surroundings If it was by our standards filthy, that only means our cleaning methods include chemicals, ready made tools, and easily accessed fresh water the average housewife did quite well with what she had No one expected to live to see their nineties, and while the average day in the life might have been filled with drudgery, the sun shone just as bright as it does now, and it was also filled with laughter and song every chance there was Otherwise, there were surprisingly few surprises here for a reader of a great many medieval set books whatever can be said of some, I have always had the greatest faith that Edith Pargeter s books could be relied on as largely accurate But it is the handful of surprises, and the muchgenerous concentration of detail, that make this a terrific reference How far can someone expect to travel on medieval roads, on foot or by horse or otherwise It s in here There is some excellent information here, entertainingly presented I do wish some parts had been expanded, though Sumptuary laws are touched on, the origins and some detail given but I think if a time traveller had to rely purely on this book as regards to what he is and is not allowed to wear he might end up in trouble color, for example, was dictated as well as material A great many of the dictates were moot, as crimson velvet or any material dyed purple was too expensive for most, but on the off chance a time traveller missed this and transgressed he could be subject to fine Another thing that surprised me was the failure to explain small surprising things for example, the mention of a brown scarlet item of clothing Apparently, I find after a little research, the word from mid 13th century French originally meant fine fabric, of whatever color a kind of rich cloth 1200 50 Middle English Old French escarlate Medieval Latin scarlata, scarletum, perhaps Arabic saqirl , siqill Medieval Greek sigill tos Latin sigill tus decorated with patterns in relief see sigillate The author is very good about most such things, which makes this sort of omission strange I am unreasonably delighted the licenses required to build castles or fortifications James Bond can keep his license to kill I want a license to crenelate Also, in the section called Organized Crime , suddenly Robin Hood comes up and there came a tiny little light bulb over my head Of course Robin Hood and his men were organized crime As with the crenelating, I am insupportably tickled about this On the whole, while this was a lovely idea, well written and well read, and very enjoyable, for me there just wasn t quite the depth of information I hoped for This was a very nice overview, dipping down here and there for a closer look But I still love the idea of the Fodor s Medieval England I d love to see that


  8. Bettie Bettie says:

    Description Imagine you could get into a time machine and travel back to the 14th century This text sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking the reader to the Middle Ages, and showing everything from the horrors of leprosy and war to the ridiculous excesses of roasted larks and haute couture.As Susanna mentions in her review, the clothing section was very interesting knitting was not known in 14C.Fully recommended.3.5 The Time Traveller s Guide to Eliz Description Imagine you could get into a time machine and travel back to the 14th century This text sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking the reader to the Middle Ages, and showing everything from the horrors of leprosy and war to the ridiculous excesses of roasted larks and haute couture.As Susanna mentions in her review, the clothing section was very interesting knitting was not known in 14C.Fully recommended.3.5 The Time Traveller s Guide to Elizabethan England4.5 The Time Traveller s Guide to Medieval England


  9. Kat Kat says:

    This book was super interesting and informative if you re looking to understand what life was like back in 14th century England Plenty of statistics, but also the author worked hard to tell about life in an interesting narrative way that kept things from getting too dry I found all the little tidbits about trade and buildings and the daily life of an Englishman very informative as well as statistics about percentages of the population that was literate, what sort of life you could expect if yo This book was super interesting and informative if you re looking to understand what life was like back in 14th century England Plenty of statistics, but also the author worked hard to tell about life in an interesting narrative way that kept things from getting too dry I found all the little tidbits about trade and buildings and the daily life of an Englishman very informative as well as statistics about percentages of the population that was literate, what sort of life you could expect if you were born into a household that worked for a landowner, etc 5 5 stars


  10. ~The Bookish Redhead~ ~The Bookish Redhead~ says:

    This book was a wonderful insight into medieval England I ve always been fascinated with medieval history, and this book was a grand companion The book tells us about the economy, the classes of people, and the work that was available It is split into chapters, full to the brim of interesting and somewhat juicy information.I particularly liked the part on disease, health and medicine, as morbid as that may seem It just fascinates me how illnesses were dealt with back them, especially, The Pl This book was a wonderful insight into medieval England I ve always been fascinated with medieval history, and this book was a grand companion The book tells us about the economy, the classes of people, and the work that was available It is split into chapters, full to the brim of interesting and somewhat juicy information.I particularly liked the part on disease, health and medicine, as morbid as that may seem It just fascinates me how illnesses were dealt with back them, especially, The Plague.Things felt a little tedious when he began talking about the landscape, which didn t interest me as much as everything else, but still, this was a very enjoyable history book


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The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century [PDF / Epub] ☉ The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century By Ian Mortimer – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk Imagine you could get into a time machine and travel back to the th century This text sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking the reader to the Middle Ages, an Imagine you could get into a Traveller's Guide Kindle Ð time machine and travel back to the th century This text sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking the reader to the Middle Ages, and showing everything from the horrors of leprosy and war to the ridiculous excesses of roasted larks and haute couture.