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The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England (Time Traveller's Guides #2)

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  2,340 Ratings  ·  314 Reviews
Ian Mortimer 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 ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Bodley Head (first published July 2nd 2010)
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We all know why Elizabethan England fascinates us and Ian Mortimer is a wonderful guide. His sense of humor and level of detail bridges any gaps in understanding why Elizabethan England may not be a place we would want to live. Mortimer expects us to have pre-conceived notions and questions that develop as we read. We may, for instance, ascribe to the notion that Elizabethan England was a period of the flowering of art and language, and it was…to a point. By carefully going through all the conti ...more
First Second Books
We hereby conclude that people from the past were very strange.
Pete daPixie
Jul 09, 2012 Pete daPixie rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-tudor
If there is one modern historian whose works I am immediately drawn to, then it is Ian Mortimer. I can strongly recommend his earlier publications 'The Greatest Traitor-The life of Sir Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, Ruler of England 1327-1330', 'The Perfect King:The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation', 'The Fears of Henry IV: the Life of England's Self-Made King' and '1415: Henry V's Year of Glory'.
There appears to be a plethora of historical time travelling books appearing, su
History lovers always debate which authors truly allow readers to “live” history (as much as one can from a modern soda). Most will agree that Ian Mortimer is a force to be reckoned with in this genre. Riding on the successful format of “The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England”; Mortimer presents, “The Time Traveler’s Guide to Elizabethan England”.

“The Time Traveler’s Guide to Elizabethan England” follows the form of “The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England” of addressing the reader
Feb 06, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it
To borrow the phrase from the famous advert, this does what is says on the cover. Mortimer whisks you back in time to Elizabethan England and takes you on a journey throughout that period, from the highest court in the lands to the grime and filth of the London metropolis.

He starts with the landscape of the time, different in many ways to today, but also familiar as landmarks that we see now are recent additions to the places that he visits. Then onto the people. The class system rules; the aris
Feb 03, 2014 Margaret rated it really liked it
Written in a manner similar to a travel guide (think an historical Lonely Planet), this book is a very interesting read.

If you are interested in the minutiae of the period, rather than the sweeping acts of history we are all familiar with, such as the Spanish Armada and the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, then this is an incredibly fascinating book.

I highly recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in the Elizabethan period. It will challenge what you think you know about the time perio
Apr 22, 2015 Melki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Not that I'd actually want to go back to Elizabethan England, 'cause on the whole, it sounds pretty freakin' awful, BUT if I did, I would be able to walk the walk and talk the talk thanks to this book.

Jennifer Simmonds
Apr 21, 2012 Jennifer Simmonds rated it liked it
Shelves: history
Not everyone can be interested in all aspects of Elizabethan life (not the casual reader anyway). Mortimer obviously is, and covers all topics, from chopping off hands to Shakespeare's sonnets, in detail. Detail is often a very good thing, and some little fascinating nuggets of information are what make this book enjoyable. However, there are some instances where we find out (in seemingly endless lists) exactly what Mr. and Mrs Elizabethan had in their house at the time of their deaths, or exact ...more
Jan 16, 2013 happy rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-english
I found this book to be an excellent companion to the authors “The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century.” Dr. Mortimer uses the same style, a traveler’s guide book, to tell the reader what life was like in Queen Elizabeth’s England of the mid-16th century. The Author divides the book into twelve sections and tells the story of how life was lived from the lowest of the low to Elizabeth herself. Having said that, much of the book is focused ...more
L.K. Jay
Apr 02, 2013 L.K. Jay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
I really enjoyed Ian Mortimer's previous book The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century and this was a welcome sequel. We all know who Queen Elizabeth was, Shakespeare and Sir Walter Raleigh but this goes much deeper into ordinary life. Such as, what would someone have had for dinner, what underwear would they have worn and how much would they have earned? It's these little details that make history so interesting and there are lots of them ...more
Aug 02, 2013 E.B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, nonfiction
A Goodreads Giveaway Book

Ian Mortimer's book is perfect for students and adults alike being introduced to Elizabethan England for the first time. As he takes us through the daily ins and outs of peasants, journeymen, and courtiers,we get a taste of what it might have been like to walk on the streets of England under Elizabeth's reign.

Great non-fiction for those interested in Early Modern England!
Mar 04, 2015 Lynn rated it it was amazing
When the Doctor shows up and wants to whisk me away to Elizabethan England, everything I read in this entertaining and well-researched little book will surely come in handy. So much fun to read, especially in measured doses: it is wonderful for putting oneself more accurately into the frame of reference of a fictional or historical character of this era!
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Perhaps not quite as good as Mortimer's guide to 14th-century England, but still an interesting and enjoyable read.
Katie/Doing Dewey
Jun 21, 2013 Katie/Doing Dewey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever wondered what people in Elizabethan England ate, what they built their houses out of, how they spoke, or what they did for entertainment? This book answers all of those questions and more, giving you a picture of daily life that many other history books leave out. Every aspect of Elizabethan life is covered in detail, with sections covering topics from religion to entertainment. Particularly unique is the inclusion of information on the lives of the middle and lower class.

I found t
Jun 25, 2013 Bibliotropic rated it really liked it
It isn’t too often that I end up reviewing nonfiction anymore. But sometimes a book comes along with such a sufficiently interesting concept that I can’t help but take a bit of a break from the norm and give it a go.

Mortimer takes a look at Elizabethan England through the amusing concept of a travel guide for time travelers, and believe me, it works.The very first chapter starts out like you’re sightseeing in some of the more well-known cities and towns. Walk down this street. On your left, you’
Jun 17, 2013 Azabu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historian Ian Mortimer (The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England) escorts the Anglophile on a tour of his native country five centuries ago when 3 shillings afforded a visitor to the Tower of London a peek at its dungeons. This informative guide offers advice that ranges from fashion trends (ruffs and ruffles rule), diet tips (avoid tomatoes ) and how much to drink (guys, a gallon of beer per day) to why bathing is unhealthy and how many arrows to keep on hand (four). Has much changed? Back ...more
Jul 25, 2013 Julia rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Shakespearean devotees, living history reenact ors
What a novel concept! A Fodor's guide for those of us ready to take the plunge and be among the first to time travel! This book's fun premise is just a mask for some seriously well-researched historical information, told in a very easy-to-digest, light-hearted manner. I found much of it surprising, some of it depressing (society's treatment of the poor and ill), and all of it fascinating. Mortimer leaves no area of Elizabethan society undercover, so to speak, so be warned that this is a book bes ...more
Jul 12, 2012 Vivienne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This proved an informal and informative guide to life in Elizabethan England addressing the reader as if they were a traveller in time. It's an approach that I found very appealing as it allowed for comparisons between then and now.

This was my first encounter with Mortimer's non-fiction and didn't realise until the author's interview on CD16 that he also writes historical fiction under the name of James Forrester (a couple of these are on my to be read mountain).

The only issue I had was that wit
Sep 05, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
I first read Ian Mortimer's 'time travellers guide to medieval England' and I was in love. Here was a historian who could transport his readers actually into the past. When I heard he had released another based on Elizabethan England it was a no brainier for me to get my hands on it (thanks to the boyfriend for buying me it!). As much as I love detailed, academic texts Mortimer has made history interesting for more than just students and graduates of history. His prose is easy to follow and his ...more
May 21, 2012 Vince rated it really liked it
An excellent companion to the authors previous title A Time Travellers Guide to the Middle Ages. A wide ranging insight into the life of the man and woman of the period from the rich man in his castle to the poor man at his gate. Styled not as a traditional historical nartive but as a series of eassys grouped under themes. Here we cover subjects such as hygenie, entertainment and clothing. In which the reader is given a glimpse into the hopes, fears, sights and smells of the subjects of the virg ...more
Jan 16, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, research, library
One thing I really liked about this book was the ways in which it challenged traditional views of life in Elizabethan England. Ian Mortimer has a dry wit, and if the book sometimes takes a seemingly scattershot approach to the subject, it's all interesting. Lots of grist here for a writer's mill.
Jun 26, 2012 Debbie rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. It answered the questions you wanted answering! Some bits, especially on punishment, are a bit gory, but still need to be told. Some bits also didn't interest me, but I didn't feel guilty skipping them. Overall very interesting and well recommended.
Courtney Lyman
Jan 29, 2016 Courtney Lyman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Lots of things I had never considered before and I like the style of looking at the history as if you will be seeing firsthand.
Elizabeth Ashworth
Mar 11, 2012 Elizabeth Ashworth rated it it was amazing
Entertaining, informative and a gem for my research library.
Nicole Geub
Apr 10, 2017 Nicole Geub rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book really took me back in time. lots of little factoids and quirky facts that made it seem that this hit wrote this travel guide after actually going to Elizabethan England and experiencing it first hand. loved it.
Heather Alderman
Jun 14, 2017 Heather Alderman rated it really liked it
A great, well-written reference for better understanding of Elizabethan England.
Feb 20, 2017 Michaela rated it liked it
For real, I used over a year on this book. Felt so friggin long. Really interesting, but hard to follow on audio book.
Robbie Leslie
Sep 19, 2012 Robbie Leslie rated it liked it
I read the 'Time Traveller's Guide to Medieaval England' prior to this. My enjoyment of 'TTG to ME' prompted me to buy this.
Mmmmm, I enjoyed this and found it informative and interesting. But it lacks the 'snap' and 'verve' of Mortimer's previous time-travelling guide. I felt that it would have benefited from a more ruthless editor - the chapters on Elizabethan dress/clothing are really rather long and become tedious. Especially as they rely on limited
Mr Mortimer's coverage of the reli
Shawn Thrasher
Apr 02, 2014 Shawn Thrasher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shawn by: Thomas Vose
Overall, a strong, good piece of (pop) history framed as a travel guide, which in an interesting conceit. There were a couple of dragging sections (mostly when facts were listed) but those sections were few and far between. The Elizbethans were a fascinating bunch, but Mortimer made sure in his envoi at the end to remind us that "they are us;" that they "are not some distant, alien race but our families." I'd never thought about people in the past quite like that before. Interesting, fascinating ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Elizabeth's London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London
  • Jane Austen's England
  • Tudors: The History of England from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I (The History of England, #2)
  • A Visitor's Companion to Tudor England
  • Elizabeth of York: The Forgotten Tudor Queen
  • The Last White Rose: Dynasty, Rebellion and Treason. The Secret Wars against the Tudors
  • England Under the Tudors
  • The Rise of the Tudors: The Family That Changed English History
  • The Elizabethans
  • Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England
  • Terry Jones' Medieval Lives
  • Shakespeare's Restless World: A Portrait of an Era in Twenty Objects
  • After Elizabeth: The Rise of James of Scotland and the Struggle for the Throne of England
  • The Watchers: A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I
  • Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy
  • God's Traitors: Terror & Faith in Elizabethan England
  • The Queen's Agent: Francis Walsingham at the Court of Elizabeth I
  • Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England
AKA James Forrester.

Dr Ian Mortimer is a historian and novelist, best known for his Time Traveller's Guides series. He has BA, MA, PhD and DLitt degrees from the University of Exeter and UCL. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and was awarded the Alexander Prize by the Royal Historical Society in 2004. Home for him and his family is the small
More about Ian Mortimer...

Other Books in the Series

Time Traveller's Guides (3 books)
  • The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century
  • The Time Traveller's Guide to Restoration Britain: Life in the Age of Samuel Pepys, Isaac Newton and The Great Fire of London

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“Our view of history diminishes the reality of the past. We concentrate on the historic event as something that has happened, and in so doing we ignore it as a moment which, at the time, is happening.” 3 likes
“In Elizabethan England you will only find small codpieces. Large ones, stuffed with wool and looking like an erect male member, are out of date” 2 likes
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