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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 February 2012
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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on 8 May 2017
There are few better than Ian Mortimer at creating the word pictures that transport you back and firmly root you in a particular period of history. He has done that again. He has also disabused me of the notion that this was an age of religious tolerance and persuasively describes the opposite.
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on 3 April 2017
I wish I had been told history that way. He has a way to make me travel trough the time. I started to look at my city differently. Very good writer and book.Highly recommended.
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on 16 June 2012
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. Unfortunately for me all the topics I wasn't so excited about were all put next to each other in order of chapters - I enjoyed the latter half of the book much more. I loved the chapter on poetry and the theatre (being an actress) - some lovely choices of quotations and examples.
Finally, a note for Kindle users. The pictures included with the book are all shoved at the end, are all black and white and teeny tiny. I've said this before about other Kindle books, and I hope one day they'll update their software so that Kindle users can view any illustrations or visual material how it was supposed to be shown, on a full page!
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on 8 March 2012
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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on 27 March 2017
Husband bought this for ME but I have yet to get my hands on it as it appears to be such a good read ! Apparently it is quite amusing - so I hear ! when I get around to actually reading it for myself I would have a better idea but seeing as my husband finds it so interesting it must be a good book !
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on 4 April 2017
Not read yet but am sure it will be excellent. I'll edit this then.
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on 27 April 2017
Interesting reconstruction of the lives and thoughts of individuals in Tudor Times. Well sourced and detailed. It provides a sound background to readers interested in the period.
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on 23 June 2016
There is nothing new in the book. No great detail of London wards .
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on 29 May 2012
Disappointed as the book starts just about 5 years before Elizabeth dies. I'd expected to be transported back to Elizabethan England, not a hope. Already given to a charity shop.
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