Sunday, December 29, 2013

Book 145: The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England

This was such a fun and clever idea.  I have read various history books about people or events occuring in Medival England, but Mortimer focuses on the people and customs of the time, breaking it down in various categories to help bring the period and people to life.
His descriptions provide a helpful context for why people did what they did, and such small details for how long travel would take, thus explaining how fast news could possibly travel.  The parts I enjoyed most were the ones about the customs, medical and hygience practices, and the law.  While I also found the landscape, and how to travel parts informative, they were among my less favorite - for some reason, I can only take so much description before zoning out, and while some of the fact about travel were interesting, once we started discussing models of ships, I was a bit less interested - I wouldn't exactly be that interested in current day models of cars or transportation, either.
I think this is a great supplement for people interested in Medieval England - while he alludes to historic event, he tries to focus as much as possible on the customs, traditions and daily life.  As a result, it provides whole different perspective on history.  However, while I guess I am now prepared to go back in time, I can't say I'm ready to give up my medical access or running toilets.  Or potatoes.

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