- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Pegasus Books; 1 edition (April 11, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1681773546
- ISBN-13: 978-1681773544
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.7 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Time Traveler's Guide to Restoration Britain: A Handbook for Visitors to the Seventeenth Century: 1660-1699 1st Edition
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“Mortimer has magicked us back to a historical period starting approximately 350 years ago. History comes in many shapes and forms, moved and crafted by the availability of knowledge, by ideology, and shifting modes of inquiry, by angles of approach, by a desire for distance or intimacy. Mortimer is of the latter camp; not the first in the history of history, but a peerless purveyor of its ilk.”
- Christian Science Monitor
“Displaying an impressive range and depth of knowledge as well as a writerly instinct for dramatic presentation, Mortimer continues his you-are-there approach to English history. Mortimer deeply immerses the reader in this world, imparting an amazing first-hand feel for what living in the era was like. This is a sure bet for history lovers and readers with a penchant for unusual travelogues.”
“Social historian Mortimer is on to a good thing. His previous, similarly structured books, The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England and The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England, charmed readers, and this latest will do the same. Readers will finish this third in a delightful series of bottom-up histories hoping Mortimer has his sights set on Georgian England.”
- Kirkus Reviews
“An accessible book, entertaining and learned, for professional historians and general readers alike.”
- Library Journal
About the Author
Dr. Ian Mortimer is best known as the author of The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England and The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England, which were both national bestsellers. He was awarded the Alexander Prize by the Royal Historical Society for his work on the social history of medicine. Ian is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He lives in England. Please visit his website at www.ianmortimer.com.
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Mortimer tells us what to wear, where to seek out medical help, entertainment, shelter from the storm and countless other details of what it was like to live from day to day in this time. The book is a look through the keyhole into that strange land called the past. The book's focus is on England.
A great way to learn history that is far more enticing that dry accounts in typical history tomes! Hooray for Mortimer! Let me know when the next time machine is ready for launch!
This entry followed suit of the others (Medieval; Elizabethan England) in the series by Mortimer in the sense that each chapter focused on a particular part of the era whether it be 'A Day in the Life' of a: Peasant, Merchant, Clergy, etc....no real Nobles now that feudalism is basically done, nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed THIS and, honestly, ALL of Ian Mortimers books and look forward to his next one; WHATEVER the subject!!
Rather than try to describe the book in detail, I think I can give the book's overall flavor by describing some of the information I found interesting. The book has the best explanation of enclosure I have ever read. The era is during the Little ice Age, so keeping warm was a problem. A town is defined as having a market, and a city as having a cathedral, so a town might have more people than a city. In Scotland, 75% of caloric intake was from oats. People usually ate two meals a day, a dinner in the late morning and a supper in the late afternoon, but breakfast is beginning to be common. Invited out, people would bring their own knives and napkins, the napkin to wipe the knife on. Forks were only beginning to be in use.
England uses the Julian calendar, with the year starting on Lady Day (March 25); Scotland uses the same calendar but the year starts January 1. Most of Europe uses the Gregorian calendar, so years can be complicated. There's a bewildering array of measurements, but 54 gallons equals a hogshead, 2 hogsheads equal a butt and two butts equal a tun--simple, but gallons vary on size. The guinea--20 shillings--got its name because it was made from gold from Guinea, on the African coast. Restoration men averaged 5'7"and women, 5'1" (so a modern time traveler to then would literally stand out). Travel on the Sabbath in theory had a 10s fine (s = shilling). The British postal service was surprisingly good, cheap and fast.
People ate things we don't, such as calf's head, snail porridge, cow's udder. Punch might be served in a large bowl that had a slice of toast floating on the top--hence, offering a toast. Disease was common and the great leveler, killing rich and poor alike. Criminal justice was harsh, and there was no presumption of innocence until guilt proven. As well, justice was biased, in favor of wealth over poverty and men over women and master over servant. Punishments could be harsh--a woman killing her husband might be burned at the stake (a husband killing his wife would be hanged). Justice was fast, if not just, with a trial lasting say fifteen minutes. There was no right to remain silent. In England, a surprisingly large number of books were published--17,116 in the 1690s alone.
Mortimer's writing as always (I've read several of his books), is excellent. He somehow manages to enliven what are often rather dull subjects. He doesn't romanticize or condemn the era, his point being that they were people like us. And that's an achievement.