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The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England Hardcover – 1 Mar 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bodley Head; First Edition edition (1 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847921140
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847921147
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 267,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"It is a magnificent social history, rich and scholarly, but with the verve and intrigue of a great novel" (Rory Clements)

"As Mortimer puts it, 'sometimes the past will inspire you, sometimes it will make you weep'. What it won't do, thanks to this enthralling book, is leave you unmoved" (Kathryn Hughes Mail on Sunday)

"An astonishingly colourful portrait of an astonishingly colourful era, one sophisticated enough to include, and make sense of, all its contradictions. It is as if Mortimer has restored an old painting, stripping it of its cloaking layers of brown varnish to reveal its vitality and life afresh" (Toby Clements Daily Telegraph)

"Mortimer brings...depth and flair to the age of Shakespeare and the Virgin Queen. From dental hygiene to table manners, the findings fascinate - even if we don't wish that we were there" (Independent)

"Ian Mortimer triumphs. Using a heady mix of historical fact, original documents and intelligent guesswork, he pieces together not just how the Elizabethans lived but how they thought" (Nigel Nelson Tribune)

Book Description

From the author of one of the biggest-selling history books of recent years, the follow-up to The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England. The past is a foreign country - this is your guide.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a highly entertaining, fascinating and very readable book, which treats the reader to the closest thing we will ever get to an understanding of what it would have been like to live in the reign of Elizabeth 1, short of actual time travel to see for ourselves.

Mortimer covers all aspects of life for Elizabethans, through the creation of a guide book for the time traveller. He explains what the landscape would have looked and smelled like in the countryside and in the towns, and what life would have been like for people living in the numerous and often confusing social hierarchies. He gives advice to the time traveller on, amongst other things, how to educate your children, how to travel, how to follow your religious beliefs safely, what to eat, what to wear, and how to conduct yourself politely. Throughout, Mortimer provides fascinating accounts of life, with numerous anecdotes to bring the past alive.

This is every bit as good, and maybe even better, than The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England, by the same author.

Quite superb - highly recommended

.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I love all Ian Mortimers books be they fact or fiction. This book gives a true & interesting account of life in Elizabethan England. Ian Mortimer writes in such a way that history comes to life & you really feel that you are standing on which ever street that you are reading about. Even the smells drift out of the pages & he paints such a vivid picture that you see every detail in your minds eye.
Ian Mortimer makes history fun to read & his books get better with each new publication. Buy this book, read it & most of all enjoy every word.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed Ian Mortimer's previous Time Traveller's Guide a lot, and this sequel didn't disappoint. It brings Tudor England to robust life. I found the chapters on food and clothing particularly vivid. It's well-organised and flows easily from topic to topic, and I'd recommend it just as much for a beginner as for someone who's already steeped in the period. Highly recommended.
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By SAP VINE VOICE on 25 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Really describes things vividly. The time-traveller angle could be seen as just a gimmick or gambit, but it really acts as a convenient pretext/excuse to explain all the things that other narrative history books don't find time to. How did people greet each other? What did they wear? How much was a beer? Etc. This book is first class and I didn't hesitate for even one second to give it five stars.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not everyone can be interested in all aspects of Elizabethan life (not the casual reader anyway). Mortimer obviously is, and covers all topics, from chopping off hands to Shakespeare's sonnets, in detail. Detail is often a very good thing, and some little fascinating nuggets of information are what make this book enjoyable. However, there are some instances where we find out (in seemingly endless lists) exactly what Mr. and Mrs Elizabethan had in their house at the time of their deaths, or exactly how many eggs, quails, eels etc were stored in a kitchen. I am interested in social history, and enjoy learning about day to day life for the 'normal' people of the time, but I found myself skimming the long, long lists of how many pewter jugs they had, how many sheets etc. There are just too many of these - lines and lines of every single household object, which we've already learnt about as the person mentioned in the paragraph before had exactly the same things. So I knocked a star off my rating for that, sorry if that's a bit harsh.
I didn't enjoy this book as much as Mortimers previous 'Medieval' offering, maybe because I knew more about the Elizabethan period initially. It was repetitive, and not as descriptive - because of the religious turmoil at the time, almost every chapter included some mention of faith, which I'd already read about in the chapter 'Religion'.
I'm sounding a lot more disgruntled about this book than I actually am. I think because I enjoyed the medieval guide so much more that I was expecting a great deal from this one. It is actually a very good, enjoyable, informative read. It just dragged sometimes - but everyones view is going to be entirely personal to them as no-one is interested in the same things.
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By RJS on 21 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think I must have read everything on the Tudors I can get my hands on so I was a bit sceptical that this book could tell me something I didn't already know. This book is fantastic and presents information about everyday life in Elizabethan England in a very clear, interesting and accessible manner. It is split into shorter subject areas and 'guides' you around Elizabethan England and explains what you will see and why. It is well-sourced with original accounts. Excellent book - a new take on a very saturated subject-area.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book really does allow you to put yourself in Elizabethan England and, as with all good guide books, helps you see the similarities and differences with your own experiences. At times I found the lists a little tedious but that may be more to do with the kindle format than the writing. I feel like I have been fully immersed in the experience.

The main detraction for me, and reason for it only being three stars, is the kindle format. All the illustrations are at the back of the main text, so not at all linked to the body of writing. This is a serious flaw as are the sharpness and sizes of images displayed. Each image is shown on a separate page and in several cases they only take up a third of the page but are too small to be clearly visible. Amazon needs to do much better !
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