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Reviewers' comments on The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England

'After The Canterbury Tales this has to be the most entertaining book ever written about the middle ages.' (Sue Arnold, The Guardian, 18 April 2009).

'Perhaps the most enjoyable history book I've read all year.' (Professor Stephen Howe, The Independent, 28 November 2008).

'To read this book is to be transported to 14th-century England, in the company of a knowledgeable and witty guide. Dr Mortimer's book is a complete social history of medieval England.' (Sue Wingrove, BBC History Magazine, November 2009).

'Superb...while drawing on an impressive aray of source material, Mortimer allows us to make wonderfully compelling connections with our forebears, identifying with the problems they had to face as well as the delights they found in life.' (The Guardian, 17 October 2009)

'Terrific' (Evening Standard, 24 September 2009)

'His aim, triumphantly achieved, is to engage our sympathies with people whose similarities to us are as fascinating as their differences.' (Sunday Telegraph, 27 September 2009)

'I love the virtual-reality, touristic approach, which is livelier and more accessible than any social history I have ever read. When you read this book, you are there, back in the fourteenth century, living its sights, smells and culture. It`s an incredible tour de force, a vivid and page-turning evocation of an age that is long-gone yet has been brought to life again in vibrant and robust fashion thanks to Ian Mortimer`s impeccable scholarship and pacy writing.' (Alison Weir).

'In The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England he sets out to re-enchant the 14th century, taking us by the hand through a landscape furnished with jousting knights, revolting peasants and beautiful ladies in wimples. It is Monty Python and the Holy Grail with footnotes and, my goodness, it is fun… The result of this careful blend of scholarship and fancy is a jaunty journey through the 14th century, one that wriggles with the stuff of everyday life… (A) deft summary of life in the high medieval period.' (Kathryn Hughes, The Guardian, 25 October 2008).

'This articulate and amusing book reveals just what it was like to be alive in what many believe to be England's darkest century. With a commanding grasp of his numerous sources, the author cleverly creates a living picture of what the inhabitants of medieval towns and villages endured and enjoyed, what they ate and drank, and how they felt and thought... A remarkable achievement, this book is full of surprising facts and entertaining anecdotes.’ (The Good Book Guide, December 2008).

'There is a wealth of information and experience here; it is social history with a difference, history to be lived as much as studied... There is a feast for the mind with this book. It is a perfect Christmas present for any Ricardian.’ (John Saunders, The Ricardian Bulletin, Winter 2008).

'I also loved Ian Mortimer's The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England, which has great fun marrying historical scholarship with the guidebook format.' (Dominic Sandbrook, The Telegraph, 28 November 2008).

'A unique and astonishing social history book which is revolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining.’ (The History Magazine, November 2008).

'The resulting portrait of the era is as lively as it is informative. His work of speculative social history is eminently entertaining but this doesn’t detract from the serious and thorough research involved.' (Angel Gurria-Quintana, The Financial Times, 9 November 2008).

'In all, this is not only an unusual book but a thoroughly engaging one.' (Alan Massie, The Literary Review, November 2008).

'A scintillating read that knocks traditional ways of studying the past into a cocked hat.' Colin Bradley, The Western Morning News, 25 October 2008).

'Ian Mortimer is an accomplished authority on the Middle Ages and this is an excellent addition to his list of medieval books... He writes in a lively and enthusiastic style which really brings this fascinating century to life. This is the perfect book for someone who is just learning about medieval history, but it will also re-ignite the enthusiasm of anyone who has even the slightest interest in this period of history.' (Rachel Bellerby, Suite101.com, 29 September 2008).

Last updated 20 October 2009