Happy Friday and welcome to this week’s Shelf Control post! This week, I’m featuring yet another historical non-fiction novel. This one, however, is a lot closer to home than my previous feature. Before we jump into the details of that, here is a recap of what Shelf Control is all about.
Shelf Control is a regular feature on my blog. It’s a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies… a celebration of the unread books on our shelves! The idea is to pick a book you own but haven’t read and write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!
If you want to read more about the Shelf Control feature, check out Lisa’s introductory post.
Now, let’s dive into today’s featured book!
The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England – Ian Mortimer
Genre: Non-fiction / History
Publisher: The Bodley Head
Publication Date: 02 Oct 2008
Imagine you could travel back to the fourteenth century. What would you see, and hear, and smell? Where would you stay? What are you going to eat? And how are you going to test to see if you are going down with the plague?
In The Time Traveller’s Guide Ian Mortimer’s radical new approach turns our entire understanding of history upside down. History is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived, whether that’s the life of a peasant or a lord. The result is perhaps the most astonishing history book you are ever likely to read; as revolutionary as it is informative, as entertaining as it is startling.
The main reason I want to pick this book up is that my knowledge of British history is shockingly lacking. Considering this is something I should have learned throughout school, I know very little about British history in general. My school curriculum focused on far more world history, rather than local.
From my understanding, life in Britain back in the 14th century was vastly different compared to today. Whereas it is more common in modern society for couples to marry and start families from the age of 30, most people wouldn’t even make it to the age of 30 in the 14th century. This is just one example of how stark the differences between life then and now are. Clearly, the difference 700 years can make is a massive one!
This is a time period of history that I’m not familiar with. The British history I have studied and read about in my own time generally picks up from the 1500s (the Tudors) onwards. I’m looking forward to stepping back even further and seeing the world from a different and more primitive point of view.
Do you read a lot of books about British history? Does this book appeal to you? If so, why?