Allan Massie

The Lonlie Planet

The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century


The Bodley Head 341pp £20 order from our bookshop

Most people who received a traditional education have some idea of life in the fourteenth century, since they are likely to have read the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales for either O or A Level, and may also have read a couple of the Tales themselves. So, while the past is indeed a foreign country, England in the late fourteenth century is less foreign than at some other periods. Nevertheless it is still decidedly unfamiliar and anyone who wants to know more about it now has the means to hand. Ian Mortimer, author of biographies of Edward III and Henry IV, as well as of the traitor Roger Mortimer, has given his guide the subtitle: ‘A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century’. Social history is popular enough, but I have read nothing quite like this.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'Hart sets out to unsettle, startle and disturb. In this strange, disconcerting, radical version of a strange, disc… ,
    • Here is @MannJessica's June crime fiction round-up, discussing books by Georges Simenon, Jack Grimwood,… ,
    • John Stubbs reviews Stephen Greenblatt's latest, 'Tyrant: Shakespeare on Power' ,
    • RT : What happened when US military strategist Herman Kahn - one of Kubrick’s three models for Dr Strangelove - took LSD… ,
    • 'Pollan has no doubt that the use of psychedelics could have a powerfully beneficial effect on a range of condition… ,
    • A memoir about an Untouchable family and the 'formation of modern India': 'Ants among Elephants' by @gidla_sujatha… ,
    • RT : First founded in Edinburgh in 1979, is considered a trusted independent source for reviews of new book… ,