The past is a foreign country: this is your guidebook.
Imagine you could get into a time machine and travel back to the fourteenth century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? Should you go to a castle or a monastic guesthouse? And what are you going to eat? What sort of food are you going to be offered by a peasant or a monk or a lord?
This is the most astonishing social history book you are ever likely to read: revolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining in its detail, and startling for its portrayal of humanity in an age of violence, exuberance and fear.
BRAIN SHOTS: the byte-sized guide to a completely different world: England in the Middle Ages
Social history is popular enough but I have read nothing quite like this. It is written in the manner of an extremely well-informed but chatty guidebook...This is not only an unusual book, but a thoroughly engaging one
As lively as it is informative. His (Mortimer's) work of speculative social history is eminently entertaining but this doesn't detract from the seriousness and the thorough research involved
Entertaining, informative and fun
Ian Mortimer is taking readers on a sense-smacking tour of the 14th century, which is guaranteed to make us wrinkle our noses in disgust and delight by turns
This superb "rough guide" to 14th century England takes a fresh approach to history by thinking of the past not as something simply to be studied, but as something to be lived.