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I just finished listening to Time Travelers Guide to Midieval. It was so good I listened to it twice! Do not expect the same with this. This is so boring by comparison and the narrator is no Jonathan Keeble! Maybe if I’d listened to this first it would have been okay but I doubt it.
I was put off at first by a plethora of statistics which I was afraid were going to comprise the entire book. I would suggest jumping ahead and skipping them to those not pleased by such things. Once what I would call the body of the book is reached it opens up into a picture reveals in patchwork of the various parts of the lives of people. I started by feeling they were alien to mine and indeed somewhat frightening due to the preconceived alien ness I felt. But what was slowly revealed were breathing people living lives. Laughing dying being born loving but above all living human lives. By the end of the book I felt the patchwork had resolved into a finely woven picture of life in the mid to late 17nth century. I met some old friends along the way specifically Samuel Pepys who’s diaries had engrossed me some years ago and another often quoted diarist who’s aquaintance I mean soon to make. This book allowed me to see yellow humans on a timeline not really very different from my own. In its hopes aspirations and follies. Their stories I think will travel with me for some time to come.