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Publisher's Summary

What was it actually like to live in Elizabethan England? If you could travel to the past and walk the streets of London in the 1590s, where would you stay? What would you eat? What would you wear? Would you really have a sense of it being a glorious age? And if so, how would that glory sit alongside the vagrants, diseases, violence, sexism and famine of the time? In this book Ian Mortimer answers the key questions that a visitor to late 16th-century England would ask.
©2012 Ian Mortimer (P)2012 W F Howes Ltd
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Customer Reviews

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By Portia on 04-17-12

Almost but not quite

I read the earlier Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England in good old fashioned paperback and enjoyed it . So it was an easy choice to pick this on the track record of the earlier book. I wish I'd stuck to paperback again.TTG to Elizabethan England is not a bad book, however it doesn't work as an audiobook as well as many other books. The narration is fine and clear but the book suffers from too many facts and figures, lists and statistics. In print these work, but as the spoken word they serve to bog down the book and break up flow and imagination. A pity . Perhaps this is a (to my preference) rare example of a book that would honestly be improved for audio by being abridged.

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40 of 40 people found this review helpful


By Kirstine on 10-01-17

What it was like to live in the 16th Century

The Tudor period has spawned many historical books, TV programmes and films, but these tend to focus on the monarchy and the major historical events, and give a rather air-brushed view of the period, whereas this author delves into how most people lived in contrast to the rich and powerful. He draws the listener into the streets of 16th century and describes the the bustle of people at work, the buildings, smells, and sounds. He has done an immense amount of research using private papers and other documents to glean the minutia of day-to day living, such as how people cleaned their teeth, bodies, clothes, and got rid of bodily waste. What they wore, ate and drank; how they travelled and earned money. What afflictions they suffered from and what medical treatments were available. The author’s other two time travellers guides (about the 14th and 16th centuries) have similar details and it’s interesting to learn what had changed and what had not.

Altogether a fascinating insight into the period that I greatly enjoyed. The text is well-suited to being spoken and is done admirably by the narrator.

At the end of the recording there’s an interview with the author in which he describes his philosophy of making history relevant to a modern audience and make us realise that people of the past were in many ways very similar to us.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Ellie on 10-02-16

Loved the journey

I learned so much as I travelled from village to city, tavern to palace and meeting cesspit cleaners and a queen . Wonderful narrator/tour guide who brought the time and people to life.

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