The Time Traveler’s Guide to Restoration Britain

Having previously guided readers through the Medieval and Elizabethan eras, Ian Mortimer now welcomes intrepid travelers to the Age of Restoration. The tyrant Oliver Cromwell is dead, and with him went his grim police-state ‘republic’ and the armed doctrine of puritanism.  Long live the King, the Church, and debauchery!  The return of music, theaters, and lecherous kings isn’t the only thing to celebrate;  England’s merchant ships are traveling the world and increasing the amount of interesting foods and items to buy by the year, and the razor’s edge clarity of science is now being honed.  The country is being re-made by the year; in London’s case, literally, because the Great Fire destroyed much of its medieval core and warranted a partial redesign.  This is a transitional age;  more and more people are living in cities, enough that the countryside is developing appeal as a break from the city, and traveling purely for leisure through rural areas develops.  This is still not an age modern travelers would be wholly at ease, in, however;   religious opinions are dangerous to express if they differ too much from Anglican orthodoxy (Quakers and Catholics be warned!),   gentlemen will duel at the drop of a hat, and severed heads on pikes are still civic decor. Here Mortimer revives the tour-guide delivery of the original guide to Medieval England,   detailing the different kinds of lodging and foods to expect,  points of interest, and how to avoid being arrested.   As ever, I thoroughly enjoy this visit with Mortimer.

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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14 Responses to The Time Traveler’s Guide to Restoration Britain

  1. mudpuddle says:

    this sounds like a great series… what's Mortimer's background (i'm wondering if he's any relation to John Mortimer of Rumpole fame)..J

  2. CyberKitten says:

    I'm a big fan of the Interregnum… being a Republican and all that…. [grin]

  3. Brian Joseph says:

    This sounds so interesting. I have read a couple of books myself on The English Civil War. I was always fascinated by the way societies can revert to thier old ways after revolutions. It seems to happen over and over again throughout history.

  4. R. T. says:

    Hmmm … Cromwell and puritans weren’t all bad … plenty of monarchs were worse … the Restoration, however, wins points from me because theaters were reopened …. I’m with Mudpuddle: need to know more about Mortimer … Bing search awaits ….

  5. Hmmmm. This is not typically the time period I am interested in, but his books are so well-done that I just might be able to get into it.

  6. Stephen says:

    Very English (uni at Exeter and University College Lodnon), mostly wrote medieval biographies until he tried his hand at a more popular history of the medieval period. That seems to have proven a successful venture!

  7. Stephen says:

    Human nature doesn't really change….the Puritans and Soviets both tried their best to create a new man in their image, but the rebellious fun-loving chimp is never far. Some modern ideologues will find that out for themselves!

  8. Stephen says:

    Was there anything admirable in the period? Admittedly, I've only retained all the bad parts.

  9. Stephen says:

    I'll have to do a little reading into the Cromwell period and the restoration, myself — over the years my schoolboy learning has faded. 😉

  10. Stephen says:

    I just find it's best not to read the time travler's books too close together, otherwise they seem repetitive.

  11. CyberKitten says:

    Well, apart from not having a King who thought he was their by Divine grace….. The chaos of the Civil Wars and just after allowed a whole host of radical political groups to (temporarily) flourish and propose such things as Universal Suffrage – including for women – several hundred years before it became a reality. Imagine if the political transition after Cromwell died was handled better and we'd have remained a Republic for that long…. Imagine the possibilities….

  12. Stephen says:

    I really need to read more about the area. My remembered view of Cromwell is fairly dismal.

  13. It's been quite a while since I read anything by him, I think I will give it a try.

  14. Pingback: A Visitor’s Guide to Jane Austen’s England | Reading Freely

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