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"As accessible and entertaining a guide as you will find to living in past times" (The Sunday Times).

"Mortimer's curiosity is boundless and his profound scholarship is leavened by a sense of fun" (The Daily Express).

"Brilliantly entertaining and uniquely informative" (The Independent).

A Time Traveller's Guide is not like a traditional history book. It does not describe the past objectively and distantly but up close, as if you really can go there - whether 'there' is the fourteenth century or the sixteenth. It tells you where to stay and what to eat, which laws will apply and what diseases might kill you. It shows you the land of your ancestors as if you could experience the hardships that they suffered and the joys that delighted them.

The approach is based on the author's belief that history is not about the past but about people, and that the main purpose of studying history is to understand the human race over time - its cruelties and suffering as well as its pleasures and achievements. Only by seeing Mankind over time can one form a proper appreciation of what Mankind is.

The books are quite conversational but underpinned by considerable research. The tone ranges from the aghast and amazed to the humorous and the cynical. Myths are debunked, new ways of seeing aspects of the past are suggested, and endnotes are added so that, if you don't believe anything you read (for instance, that Elizabethan men did not grow beards until well into their twenties, or that a medieval English friar wrote about suspension bridges, deep-sea diving, cars and helicopter-like aircraft), then you can check the sources for yourself.

The first two books have both been bestsellers in the UK. The medieval volume reached no. 6 on the Sunday Times non-fiction paperback chart at Christmas 2009; and the Elizabethan volume reached no. 5 on the hardback chart in April 2012. In addition, the Elizabethan volume, which is published as The Time Traveller's Guide to Shakespeare's England in several foreign languages, has been made into a three-part BBC2 TV series, first broadcast in 2013.

"Ian Mortimer's books are brilliant not because they bring the past back to life but because they prove that there was once life in the past." Adventures in Historyland