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The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England

 Sue Wingrove on a colourful guide to the 14th century

Published: November 21, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Reviewed by: Sue Wingrove
Author: Ian Mortimer
Publisher: Vintage
Price (RRP): £8.99


To read this book is to be transported to 14th-century England, in the company of a knowledgeable and witty guide. Dr Mortimer’s book is a complete social history of medieval England. All you ever wondered about how people lived – and much more – is here, from wimples to wild boar and hygiene to hedgehog grease. The book is a practical guide for visitors, so you’ll find out all those really essential skills you need, including: how to play football with a pig’s bladder filled with peas; the intricacies of public sanitation; and how to avoid doctors. There’s also advice on what to wear. How about the forerunner to today’s low slung jeans – the courtepie, a short doublet which revealed the wearer’s bottom.


Sue Wingrove is deputy editor of BBC History Magazine


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