The Time Traveller's Guide to
Restoration Britain

Reviewers' comments

'An impressive and prolifically detailed history of Restoration Britain' (Kelly Fleming, Restoration, 43, 1 (University of Maryland, Spring 2019), pp. 114-6.

'If only they'd taught history like this when I was at school. Banish all thoughts of time machines and sci-fi from your head, and welcome in a detail-rich journey through an extraordinary time in British history as if it's taking place right now. Irreverent, witty and beautifully democratic, this is a delight.' (Rebecca Armstrong, features editor, in 'Books of the year', i (The paper for today), 8 December 2017).

'This is a compelling book and one of considerable erudition. Mortimer quotes from familiar sources like Pepys, Evelyn, Fiennes and Thoresby but he has also undertaken impressive research in more obscure archives and sources. For the general reader interested in the world of Wren and Newton this is the book that will provide the most richly colourful account of Britain in this period.' (Professor William Gibson, History Today, vol. 67, iss. 8, July 2017).

'Our guide's treatment of the past is, as ever, a case of great knowledge worn lightly. He is by turns funny, scholarly, poignant and almost always fascinating... As a way of meeting our ancestors almost face to face, there is something magical about his writing.' (Rebecca Armstrong, i News, 11 May 2017).

'The Time Traveller's Guide to Restoration Britain is just such fun to read... It aims to immerse you in the era, and give you an appreciation of what life then would really have been like. Mortimer does this very successfully, spending as much time on the poor and middling sorts as he does on the better off... Brimming with such gems, his book is a delightful read.' (Andrew Holgate, The Sunday Times, 26 March 2017).

'This entertaining tourist guide brings the late 17th century alive... There are other good guides to Restoration society, but none covers such a wide canvas as Mortimer's, in time and place. He deals with a 40-year period and with Scotland and Wales as well as England. Apart from anything else, the book is an impressive feat of synthesis... The latest Time Traveller's Guide will entertain and inform anyone with an interest in this extraordinary period.' (Andrew Taylor, The Times, 25 March 2017).

'Oh, a time-travel book. How quaint, you may think. Think again. Ian Mortimer's books are not clichéd "Connecticut Yankee"-styled stories, with a protagonist who lumbers around messing up the time-space continuum with an iPhone. "Restoration," like his others, is a heavily researched, minutely detailed nonfiction guide about what to expect if you were unexpectedly plunked down in a featherbed in the late 17th century... Mortimer has the gift of imparting a lot of information in a conversational, even breezy, style, making a quick read of nearly 500 pages.' (Melissa Davis, The Seattle Times, 30 April 2017).

'Enthralling and detailed' (Roger Lewis, The Daily Mail, 21 April 2017).

'There is a word for what the historian and archivist Ian Mortimer does for a living, and it is a lovely one: re-enchantment... He is a natural gumshoe in discovering how the progression and accumulation of infinite traces make up our way of being in the world. He has done the digging, and now he wants to show-and-tell. He is also like the geographer who agrees that it is worthwhile to know that Tallahassee is the capital of Florida, but of greater interest and value is why... It is beautiful to watch as Mortimer unspools these everyday life ways; it is like picking apart a rainbow.' (Peter Lewis, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 April 2017).

'A conjurer who is always bright, engaging and well-informed... From bed bugs to boggy roads, any tour of late 17th-century Britain is guaranteed to be exhilarating. And with Mortimer in charge, one always travels first-class.' (John Adamson, The Mail on Sunday, 2 April 2017).

'Hugely readable.' (Richard & Judy, Daily Express, 1 April 2017).

'As a general introduction to this exciting period in history, The Time Traveler's Guide to Restoration Britain is a charming and informative volume, with ample facts and anecdotes for the casual reader, and plenty of endnotes for the reader who would investigate these tumultuous times in greater depth.' (Jessica Tvordi, associate professor of English at Southern Utah University, Open Letters Monthly, 1 April 2017).

'Displaying an impressive range and depth of knowledge as well as a writerly instinct for dramatic presentation, Mortimer continues his you-are-there approach to English history, following his previous British bestsellers in this series... Mortimer deeply immerses the reader in this world, imparting an amazing first-hand feel for what living in the era was like.' (Brad Hooper, Booklist, April 2017).

'The latest guidebook to England's past from the renowned historian. Social historian Mortimer is on to a good thing. His previous, similarly structured books, The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England and The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England, charmed readers, and this latest will do the same... Readers will finish this third in a delightful series of bottom-up histories hoping Mortimer has his sights set on Georgian England.' (Kirkus Reviews, 6 February 2017).

'I thought this the best of all the Time Traveller's Guides so far. With judicious use of Pepys's diaries, Ian Mortimer manages to inform and delight in equal measure.' (Sue Baker, The Bookseller, 20 January 2017).