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  • Published: 18 January 2022
  • ISBN: 9780099542070
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $22.99

The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England

From the author of one of the biggest-selling history books of recent years, the follow-up to The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England.

The past is a foreign country - this is your guide, from the bestselling author of The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England

We think of Queen Elizabeth I's reign (1558-1603) as a golden age. 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 reveals a country in which life expectancy 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, 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.

'Vivid trip back to the 16th century...highly entertaining book' Guardian

  • Published: 18 January 2022
  • ISBN: 9780099542070
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Ian Mortimer

Dr Ian Mortimer is the Sunday Times bestselling author of TheTime Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England and The Time Traveller’s Guide to Elizabethan England, as well as four critically acclaimed medieval biographies, and numerous scholarly articles on subjects ranging in date from the twelfth to the twentieth centuries. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1998. His work on the social history of medicine won the Alexander Prize (2004) and was published by the Royal Historical Society in 2009. He lives with his wife and three children in Moretonhampstead, on the edge of Dartmoor.

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Praise for The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England

Ian Mortimer manages to inform and delight in equal measure.

Sue Baker, The Bookseller

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

With Shakespeare on hand to give us extra insight into how Elizabethans saw themselves (and what they - often to our eyes inexplicably - found funny), and a society playing out its growing sense of self-awareness as it tiptoes to a modern age, the stage is set for a fresh and funny book that wears its learning lightly

Rebecca Armstrong, Independent

Mortimer brings the same 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 i

Entertaining history of the country's landscape, people, religion, health and culture in the 16th century

The Times

Fascinating account of everyday life in Elizabethan England.

PA syndicated review

It is a magnificent social history, rich and scholarly, but with the verve and intrigue of a great novel.

Rory Clements

Fascinatingly readable

John Ure, Country Life

Mortimer's book has something for everyone... His curiosity is boundless and his profound scholarship is leavened by a sense of fun

Christopher Silver, Daily Express

Mortimer's intriguing step-by-step guide to everyday Elizabethan life is studded with gems. A delightful book, full of busy research lightly worn, that is as accessible and entertaining a guide as you will find to living in past times.

Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times, Culture Magazine

Ian Mortimer realistically describes the down-to-earth details of everyday living and stirring times in the England before and after the 1590s

Ian Finlayson, Saga Magazine

Anyone looking to write a novel about Tudor times would do well to investigate Mortimer's excellent work...

Lesley McDowell, Glasgow Sunday Herald

It's like Horrible Histories for grown-ups, and I mean that as a compliment

Brandon Robshaw, Independent on Sunday

Absolutely fascinating and great fun

Sally Morris, Daily Mail

Mortimer unpicks a period of time conflicted in the history books, his vivid portrayal helping in understanding these contradictions

Antonia Charlesworth, Big Issue in the North

Mortimer's Tardis does the job with a welter of detail.

Christopher Hirst, Independent

An engaging book that can be read with pleasure

Susan Doran, BBC History Magazine

Ian Mortimer manages to inform and delight in equal measure.

Sue Baker, The Bookseller

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