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The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England

The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England

Hardback

By (author) Ian Mortimer

List price $31.33

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Paperback $12.64
  • Publisher: The Bodley Head Ltd
  • Format: Hardback | 432 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 236mm x 44mm | 798g
  • Publication date: 2 April 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1847921140
  • ISBN 13: 9781847921147
  • Sales rank: 45,928

Product description

We think of Queen Elizabeth I as 'Gloriana': the most powerful English woman in history. We think of her reign (1558-1603) as a golden age of maritime heroes, like Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Richard Grenville and Sir Francis Drake, and of great writers, such as Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare. But 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 prospective traveller to late sixteenth-century England would ask. Applying the groundbreaking approach he pioneered in his bestselling "Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England, the Elizabethan" world unfolds around the reader. He shows a society making great discoveries and winning military victories and yet at the same time being troubled by its new-found awareness. It is a country in which life expectancy at birth 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 and 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.

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Author information

Dr Ian Mortimer is the author of the bestselling Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England, eight other books and many peer-reviewed articles on English history between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and was awarded the Alexander Prize (2004) for his work on the social history of medicine in seventeenth-century England. In June 2011, the University of Exeter awarded him a higher doctorate (D.Litt.) by examination, on the strength of his historical work. He also writes historical fiction, published under his middle names (James Forrester). He lives with his wife and three children on the edge of Dartmoor, in Devon. For further information about him and a full bibliography, see his website: www.ianmortimer.com.

Review quote

"It is a magnificent social history, rich and scholarly, but with the verve and intrigue of a great novel" -- Rory Clements "As Mortimer puts it, 'sometimes the past will inspire you, sometimes it will make you weep'. What it won't do, thanks to this enthralling book, is leave you unmoved" -- Kathryn Hughes Mail on Sunday "An astonishingly colourful portrait of an astonishingly colourful era, one sophisticated enough to include, and make sense of, all its contradictions. It is as if Mortimer has restored an old painting, stripping it of its cloaking layers of brown varnish to reveal its vitality and life afresh" -- Toby Clements Daily Telegraph "Mortimer brings...depth and flair to the age of Shakespeare and the Virgin Queen. From dental hygiene to table manners, the findings fascinate - even if we don't wish that we were there" Independent "Ian Mortimer triumphs. Using a heady mix of historical fact, original documents and intelligent guesswork, he pieces together not just how the Elizabethans lived but how they thought" -- Nigel Nelson Tribune

Back cover copy

Praise for The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: 'He has a novelist's eye for detail, and his portrait of an England in which sheep are the size of dogs, thirty-year-old women are regarded as so much "winter forage'', and green vegetables widely held to be poisonous has something of the hallucinatory quality of science-fiction' Daily Telegraph 'Mortimer sets out to re-enchant the fourteenth century, taking us by the hand through a landscape furnished with jousting knights, revolting peasants and beautiful ladies in wimples. It is Monty Python and the Holy Grail with footnotes, and, my goodness it is fun... The result of this careful blend of scholarship and fancy is a jaunty journey through the fourteenth century, one that wriggles with the stuff of everyday life' Kathryn Hughes, Guardian 'Amazing...an incredible tour de force' Alison Weir 'Not only an unusual book, but a thoroughly engaging one' Literary Review

Flap copy

We think of Queen Elizabeth I as 'Gloriana': the most powerful English woman in history. We think of her reign (1558-1603) as a golden age of maritime heroes, like Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Richard Grenville and Sir Francis Drake, and of great writers, such as Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare. But 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 prospective traveller to late sixteenth-century England would ask. Applying the groundbreaking approach he pioneered in his bestselling Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England, the Elizabethan world unfolds around the reader. He shows a society making great discoveries and winning military victories and yet at the same time being troubled by its new-found awareness. It is a country in which life expectancy at birth 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 and 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.