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The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England (Unabridged… (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Ian Mortimer, narrated by Mike Grady

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253545,261 (3.85)14
Member:meanderer
Title:The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England (Unabridged Audiobook)
Authors:Ian Mortimer
Other authors:narrated by Mike Grady
Info:Whole Story Audiobooks (2012), Edition: Unabridged Audiobook 15 CDs, Audio CD, 15 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:history, audiobook, england, 16th century, 17th century

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The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer (2012)

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Showing 5 of 5
A delightful easy read. No knowledge of history required at all just an interest in former times. And what times our Elizabethan ancestors went through! Frequently quoting from contemporary records, just like the tweets you and I might leave behind, we are led through the wide range of concerns, you as a time traveller, might need to know about. Where to eat, what there is and how to eat without giving offence and son on. From social etiquette to avoiding causing distress or authority crackdown by inappropriate enquiries or loose comments. And what an exciting period to dip back into, a world of change, challenging new horizons over-turning all the past solid concepts. Social upheaval as the old order makes reluctant way for the new generations establishing themselves with their new found skills of reading, writing, exploring, making music and entertaining the crowd freed, to a degree from the shackles. If you belong to the favoured sectors of society. Woe betide you if you were a vagrant or an abused women!
Despite all the obvious differences, what came across to me, is our immense debt we owe to these Elizabethans, the hardships they had to endure so that we could benefit. And how we share so many parallel social concerns thanks to their pioneering efforts. Well done them. No wish to live their life but so glad to have had this wonderful refreshing opportunity to dip my toe and and get a well-rounded feel for how they lived. ( )
  tonysomerset | Feb 17, 2014 |
Like its Medieval brother, this book is an easy, fun read. I skimmed over the parts about social organisation because they are a very general overview that any reader who is interested in the period's history is already familiar with.

But the chapters and sections dedicated to every day life were a joy, as it is a subject often ignored by uni courses and political history.

The only reason I gave it four stars instead of five is the lack of images to help the reader picture what is being described. I struggled in the geography sections: having no sense of direction at all and not knowing London except trough reading, I was quite lost at what the city looked like. ( )
  julesbe | Jan 26, 2014 |
bookshelves: nonfiction, history, tudor, autumn-2013, dip-in-now-and-again, under-500-ratings, paper-read, published-2012, tbr-busting-2013
Read from November 07, 2013 to January 02, 2014

Purchased in Princes Street.

This book is dedicated to my daughter,
Elizabeth Rose Mortimer.

Opening: It is a normal morning in London, on Friday 16 July 1591. In the wide street known as Cheapside the people are about their business, going between the timber-covered market stalls.

3* The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England
TR The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England

Who do we meet along the way?:

William Hacket[aka nose biter], also known as Hackett (died 1591), was an English puritan and religious fanatic, who claimed to be a messiah and called for the removal of Queen Elizabeth I. He was executed in London after being found guilty of treason.

Raphael Holinshed was an English chronicler, whose work, commonly known as Holinshed's Chronicles, was one of the major sources used by William Shakespeare for a number of his plays.

From the description: In this book Ian Mortimer reveals a country in which life expectancy is in the early thirties, people still starve to death and Catholics are persecuted for their faith. Yet it produces some of the finest writing in the English language, some of the most magnificent architecture, and sees Elizabeth's subjects settle in America and circumnavigate the globe. Welcome to a country that is, in all its contradictions, the very crucible of the modern world.

Totally enjoyable dip in-dip out read so I am curious why, what with all the declared and avowed Tudor fans out there, this has under 500 ratings. Come on peeps, this really is worthy of your time.
3.5*

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  mimal | Jan 2, 2014 |
Have you ever wondered what people in Elizabethan England ate, what they built their houses out of, how they spoke, or what they did for entertainment? This book answers all of those questions and more, giving you a picture of daily life that many other history books leave out. Every aspect of Elizabethan life is covered in detail, with sections covering topics from religion to entertainment. Particularly unique is the inclusion of information on the lives of the middle and lower class.

I found the first chapter of The Time Traveler’s Guide a little hard to get through. The description of the landscape made me hold details about what was in all directions in my head at once and it made it hard to see the big picture. If you experience the same thing, don’t let that deter you! The rest of the book flew by. Topics described were easier to picture and I found the glimpse I got of every day life in Elizabethan England fascinating. I particularly liked that the author would say things like “if you went up and spoke to one of those peasants…” or “as you’re walking down the street, you’ll most likely see…”. It made me picture being there very vividly.

Another really nice touch was the inclusion of specific information known about real people. The statement “farmers kept most of their money invested in live stock” is far less interesting than hearing that “John Smith kept cows, sheep, and pigs that were worth most of his monetary value”. These examples made the information feel much more real, personal, and immediate. The direct quotes provided the finishing touch on the immersive experience this book provides. Some quotes were explained so well that humor transcended time, an impressive feat given how hard it is to translate humor across cultures. Overall, the many details, the quotes, the inclusion of the reader in the scenes described, and the personal touches made this the perfect book for getting a feel for the Elizabethan Era.

This review first published on Doing Dewey. ( )
1 vote DoingDewey | Jun 26, 2013 |
Take a time machine back to the middle ages in England with this fascinating guidebook. I loved the engrossing and entirely believable descriptions of daily life - food, housing, clothing, medicine, law, entertainment, travel and social niceties. Mortimer’s work is both scholarly and fun to read. You will take away curious factoids such as: your class in life determined what fur you could wear, from ermine to rabbit, and until the 13th century there was no difference between the left and right shoes. ( )
  triscuit | May 14, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian Mortimerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grady, MikeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
But when memory embraces the night
I see those days, long since gone,
like the ancient light of extinguished stars
traveling still, and shining on.

from "Ghosts," Acumen 24 (1996), p. 17
Dedication
This book is dedicated to my daughter,
Elizabeth Rose Mortimer
First words
Introduction
It is a normal morning in London, on Friday 16 July 1591. In the wide street known as Cheapside the people are about their business, going between the timber-covered market stalls. Traders are calling out, hoping to attract the attention of merchants' wives.
I
The Landscape
Different societies see landscapes differently. You may look at Elizabethan England and see a predominantly green land, characterised by large open fields and woodlands, but an Elizabethan yeoman will describe his homeland to you in terms of cities, towns, ports, great houses, bridges and roads. In your eyes it may be a sparsely populated land–the average density being less than sixty people per square mile in 1561 (compared to well over a thousand today)–but a contemporary description will mention overcrowding and the problems of population expansion.¹ Describing a landscape is thus a matter of perspective: your priorities affect what you see.
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" ... this popular history explores daily life in Queen Elizabeth's England, taking us inside the homes and minds of ordinary citizens as well as luminaries of the period, including Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Sir Francis Drake. Organized as a travel guide for the time-hopping tourist, Mortimer relates in delightful (and occasionally disturbing) detail everything from the sounds and smells of sixteenth-century England to the complex and contradictory Elizabethan attitudes toward violence, class, sex, and religion. Original enough to interest those with previous knowledge of Elizabethan England and accessible enough to entertain those without, The Time Traveler's Guide is a book for Elizabethan enthusiasts and history buffs alike."--… (more)

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