Cover Image: How to Survive in Medieval England

How to Survive in Medieval England

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Member Reviews

I found this very interesting reading. Clearly, the author has done a lot of research and I like that the book was divided into different sections according to an aspect of life in Medieval England.

Clearly, if any of us were to time-travel, a lot of adjustments would need to be made! First up, would anyone be able to understand us, as the language was far different to what it is now. What would we do? I don't think being able to type is going to get us far, haha. And then there is the lack of vaccines and all the different diseases to contend with. It is a wonder that enough people survived these times to reproduce and then allow us to be (eventually) born!

I enjoyed this book, it was cleverly done.

4.5 stars from me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Pen & Sword.
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I'm sure we've all seen or heard the question: If you went back in time what item would you take with you? Well my answer is, a copy of this book!
It's full of interesting information including what you would eat, dress and do on a daily basis but it is also brilliantly funny.
There's details about how surnames were formed, the types of jobs available and things you should definitely avoid, from food to certain clothes, unless of course those clothes are correct for your station. 

Mount includes interviews with some individuals across all classes that you may come across on your time travelling adventure, which are brilliant for giving further insight into medieval England but also into some of the more well known individuals from the time. 

You definitely don't feel like you are reading a nonfiction book due to the interviews and humour but I learnt so much. 

So if you are planning a trip back the medieval ages or maybe you are just interested, I would definitely recommend this book. Personally I don't think I would manage living in the medieval ages so I will happily just stick to having read and enjoyed the book.
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How to Survive in Medieval England By Toni Mount
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 176
Illustrations: Integrated black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526754417
Published: 25th June 2021

After a long time, I read such a wonderful book about medieval history. Toni Mount presents an enjoyable treat and a guidebook for time-travellers to England during the Medieval period (roughly spanning the 13th-15th centuries). What to wear? Where to eat? Where to stay the night? What currency should you carry? What jobs can you procure? What to do if you fall ill or get robbed on the countryside roads? Where to mend your shoes? Questions like these and much more are explored in this volume. 

What makes this book different from the other historical guidebooks is the collection of interviews with historical celebrities and cooks and businesswomen, medieval recipes for a feast, herbal medicines, and a huge repository of etymological facts. For example, when the plague arrived in 1348 and thereby decimating the population across Europe, feudalism took a hit. The "villeins", people who had more freedom than the serfs, started leaving their lords' homes after the great pestilence arrived in search of more lucrative tenancies and higher wages. Since they were breaking the law, the word villeins became "villains", meaning criminals. The author does not overburden the reader with a deluge of dry facts. The book reads more like a personal conversation with a medieval guide taking you on a tour than plain non-fiction. It also has some clever and timeless insights on more serious topics like religion, law and order, death and mortality, class dynamics, and warfare. My favourite bits were food and cooking, medicine, fashion, architecture, and livelihoods.

Fun facts: A baxter is a female baker and a tapster is a female ale-seller. Turns out medieval England had many opportunities for women to work in various business establishments. So it wasn't all dark ages full of plague and grime and oppression. 

It's a shame I haven't read other books by Toni Mount and I shall rectify that soon now I have enjoyed the present one. Her website has a wonderful quote which reflects her work and enthusiasm about bringing history alive for readers and students alike.

"Pleasure should mingle with study so that the student may think learning an amusement, rather than a toil" 
- Thomas Wolsey (1473-1530)
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A decent look at different ways one could live their days - different classes and persons. Nice it is not just one gender or class.
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I love to travel and time travel would be amazing, but until they invent that we have great books like this one.
From setting the scene to clothing, food and hospitality you can really imagine you're about to embark on a trip to Medieval England.
Get your shots, brush up on your Latin and grab this book as you step through time.
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This was a really engaging read. The author has a lovely whimsical style of writing and the book is full of useful advice if one was ever to find onself In medieval England.  I feel that I have a much better insight into the daily life of the people and their habits. I think the book does require a little bit more careful editing and setting out. e.g. Brentwood is used interchangeably with Brentford and , while a great idea, the interviews could be set out more clearly. But notwithstanding this nitpicking, it really is a great book.
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How to Survive in Medieval England is a time traveller's guide to making it through the basics of medieval life. Focused on the years between 1066 and 1485 the book covers things like clothing, housing, transportation, and religion. 

What this isn't is an in depth guide to the period. It's not a political look at the time. Nor is it a sociological look. It's very clearly intended to be an armchair guide to a medieval newbie who wants to travel back in time to visit an ancestor of six.

The book is well laid out with each section clearly defined. In some places the author imagines interviews with people of the time, interviews which were based on primary sources. The writing style is engaging and easy to read. I zipped through this book in an evening. 

Not only would this book be good for a time traveler, but it would also be a good starting point for a fiction author. It gives a lot of the basics of what life is like during the time and it covers the things that most fiction readers want to know: what the people ate, what they wore, and how did they go to the bathroom. 

In all this book is a fun, light read that does what it sets out to do.

Five Stars

I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley
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Seriously charming book.So easy and fun to read and packed full of interesting information.I loved how it was organized and liked how it wasn't a huge time investment.You could just pick it up and put it down without much concentration about what you had read before which happened to be just what I had been looking for in that moment.
A big thank you to Netgalley for providing me a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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It is always important to have a good guide book when traveling and I for one am comforted by the idea that if I ever end up in medieval England then I am set.
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I really enjoyed this book. It was truly an expansion on everything I learned in 10th grade World History. I absolutely loved the writing style; it felt like having a conversation with a friend.
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How to Survive in Medieval England is an all-ages readable look at life (and how not to die) in medieval England written by Toni Mount. Due out 30th Aug 2021 from Pen & Sword, it's 176 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. 

The author takes an actively engaging point of view with this daily-life vignette - the reader is a time-traveler heading to medieval England to study and experience life. What should the reader pack? How to prepare? What prophylactic healthcare steps must we do before we leave (vaccines, supplements, oral healthcare, and so on)? She goes on to provide glimpses into daily life and survival across a broad range of social strata, from peasant to lord and shows how they differ from one another. 

Chapters are arranged thematically by subject: social structure & housing, religion & beliefs, clothing, food & shopping, health & medicine (some really hair-raising info here), work & leisure, families, warfare and law & order. The book is meticulously annotated and the chapter notes will provide a wealth of sources for further reading. There's also an abbreviated bibliography and cross-referenced index. 

The book is modestly illustrated throughout with period illuminated pages showing scenes from domestic life, implements such as eating utensils and tools, and drawings of famous (and unknown) people going about their daily lives. 

The fact that the book is layman accessible and engagingly easy to read will make it a very good choice for school or library acquisition. I would recommend it for re-enactors as well (SCA and soforth) as there are a number of good illustrations for copyable tools and eating utensils. 

Five stars. 

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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I received a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review
Toni's books are always a showstopper and this was no exception. Taking a whimsical turn down medieval England lane, I was absorbed and transported back to a time and place unknown. I enjoyed this so much
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This was a fun and entertaining look into the Medieval times, often funny sometimes gross but a good read all around!
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How to Survive in Medieval England by Toni Mount

With a daughter teaching courses dealing with this time period, I thought it would be interesting to find out more about the era. This book is one that was easy to read, filled with information that was sometimes new and sometimes a reinforcement of knowledge I had already. 

The chapters include: 
* Introduction to an imaginary trip into a different time
* Social Structure & Housing
* Beliefs & Religious Ideas
* Clothing & Appearance
* Food & Shopping
* Health & Medicine
* Work & Leisure
* Family Matters
* Warfare
* Law & Order

Each chapter has information, illustrations, some warnings, and suggestions and scattered throughout are imaginary conversations with people of interest. 

I can see this being use as a resource by teachers and authors, a book to be added to libraries, a possible reading selection for students, and of interest to those just wanting more information. It would not provide an encyclopedia of necessary information to truly survive if one were to find themselves in the past, but it is a good introduction to the time period and left me happy to live now and not back then. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Pen & Sword History for the ARC – This is my honest review. 

4-5 Stars
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While I don't think this book will help you survive medieval times, I found the book to be enjoyable and entertaining. I especially liked the interviews with historical figures. I just wish the book had been longer. I recommend this book be on the reference shelf of any historical writer or fantasy writer. 

I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher and/or author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Pen and Sword for granting my wish to read this. 

This was everything I expected it to be and more. This felt like a Lonely Planet travel guide for Medieval England. I  really enjoyed the language, format and tone of this. Mount relays information in an easy, lighthearted way that is accessible for all. This could be read by anyone regardless of whether or not they had any prior knowledge of Medieval history. 

Mount includes fictionalised interviews with real figures that are rooted in reference materials from the time period. I thought this was a great way to engage a reader and really helpful in providing examples of different ways of life. 

I think my favourite part might have been the section regarding Law and Order; there's a small reference to the trial of animals that is particular fascinating/bizarre!

Solid 4 out of 5 stars!
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How to Survive in Medieval England by Toni Mount is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late June.

Guidance on how you live, what you believe, how you look, what you consume and how you fight within mildly off-topic, helpful Did You Know's, information of things that you need to get used to and unlearn from the present day, and imagined narratives from those who lived in medieval times. Overall, it's less stuffy and more informative than other How to Survive's.
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Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you were able to travel back in time to the medieval ages and had to start your life all over again? Could you make the transition from the 21st century to the medieval period with no electronic technology and different customs? What would you wear? How would you get around with no cars and horses being very expensive? Where would you live? What job would you have? These questions and quandaries are answered in the latest nonfiction book by Toni Mount aptly entitled, “How to Survive in Medieval England”. 

I would like to thank Pen and Sword Books and Net Galley for sending me a copy of this book. I have found time travel books really interesting in the past few years, so I was intrigued when I heard about this title. 

Mount has created a fun and creative guide for those who have a passion for medieval England. For clarification, Mount defines medieval from 1154 to the death of King Richard III in 1485. It’s quite a range, but it gives the reader a chance to see how England transformed during the medieval time. In this book, Mount gives her readers the everyday details that they would want if they traveled to the past or if they just wanted to better understand the past. The information that Mount includes is practical and easy to follow so that anyone who is jumping into the past can understand. 

The true highlight of this title and what separates Mount’s book from other time-traveling books are the interviews. No, she does not have her own Tardis, but it feels like she might with these passages. Mount has taken historical figures, both well known and those who her audience might not be familiar with, and has decided to write discussions with them to better understand the past and the motivation for their actions. It is a brilliant way for an author who writes both historical fiction and nonfiction to express their craft in a unique and engaging way.

I have read a few time travel books and I have to say, this one is special. It is one that is engaging for history experts and novices alike. There are warnings, but Mount has also included a bit of humor to make sure that her audience realizes that the past was not always dark. 

Medieval England may look drastically different than our 21st century, but if you break it down, the people of the past are just trying to survive the best that they can just like we are. If you want a handy guide to take on your journeys to the past or you just want a book to better understand the past, I highly suggest you read this book, “How to Survive in Medieval England” by Toni Mount.
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This book is a fun introduction to the time period and setting, although it covers too broad a topic in too short a space to be a true research volume. Instead, the chatty tone and casual asides creates for an entertaining read that's anything but heavy, with a few tidbits sprinkled in that will give the reader fun trivia to explore. More of a launching point or a casual refresher, the text is neatly divided into focused chapters that make for a quick read.
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I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It was a bit frivolous but thoroughly enjoyable and unexpectedly informative fun read. It sums up a medieval day-to-day life in 10 chapters, each dedicated to one aspect of life, for example health, family or law and order. I took the book on vacation and because I guffawed every once in a while when reading it I had to share funny bits with my friend who constantly asked what I'm laughing at. This was a win.

Disclaimer: I got this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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