Sunday, January 2, 2011

Book Review: The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England

This is a book review of The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer.

History is more fun without the politics

Context is a vital consideration for historical interpretation, but ask a history student to summarize what he's learned and you'll likely hear exclusively about famous people and events. Some of these people were colorful characters, and many of the events make for good stories. But this book focuses on the complement of that history, highlighting the crucial but normally subordinated milieu of an age.

Mortimer's guidebook tells of the customs, etiquette, food, clothing, laws, and economic conditions in which the 14th century English lived their lives. The book is written in a light-hearted style; it's a very entertaining way to cure some of your misconceptions and enrich your understanding of the period. Recommended.

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