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THE TIME TRAVELLER’S GUIDE TO MEDIEVAL ENGLAND By: Ian Mortimer September 6, 2010

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.
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     Whoa! Are you overdue in buying yourself a little treat? If so, cough up the cash. THE TIME TRAVELLER’S GUIDE TO MEDIEVAL ENGLAND is a totally fabulous non fiction book that takes the reader back to the fourteenth century and tells them all they will need to know during their stay.       

          Seriously; Mortimer tells you what to eat, how to entertain yourself, where to stay, what to wear, how to avoid illness, what’s available to eat, where to be most wary of highwaymen, and most importantly when planning a trip –what it will cost.
     This book is pieced together with surviving diaries, letters, poems, and scraps of household accounts in a completely ingenious and usable manner. It is every bit as readable and interesting, and more informative than, any of the numerous novels I have read on Medieval times, so if you are normally a fiction aficionado, you’ll vastly enjoy this book. If you’re a non-fiction reader, you will adore it, and everyone will want to add it to their personal library.
     Cities and towns are described in amazing detail: by sight, by smell, by sound, and by feel when your skin crawls at certain pictures painted generously in minutely detailed prose. Mortimer takes his readers into a merchant’s house and shows them the home’s layout, furnishings, pewter and silverware, goblets, wall hangings, religious artifacts, musical instruments, bedding, and the family’s prized possessions — the gentleman’s falcon and hawks. There are even a 1337, and a 1383 account of the entire household inventories of two merchants’ homes.

     Laws, penalties, and the justice (or lack of it) system are revealed, and your every question of what life was like back then, in all areas of everyday life, are answered. The Lycan Librarian even had some questions answered which she had not even realized she had!  And, come on,  isn’t Ian Mortimer a really, really cool name?

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