13+ quotes from The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer

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

Ian Mortimer ·  319 pages

Rating: (13.4K votes)


“‎W. H. Auden once suggested that to understand your own country you need to have lived in at least two others. One can say something similar for periods of time: to understand your own century you need to have come to terms with at least two others. The key to learning something about the past might be a ruin or an archive but the means whereby we may understand it is--and always will be--ourselves.”
― Ian Mortimer, quote from The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century


“Justice is a relative concept in all ages. The fourteenth century is no exception.”
― Ian Mortimer, quote from The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century


“As you travel around medieval England you will come across a sport described by some contemporaries as 'abominable ... more common, undignified and worthless than any other game, rarely ending but with some loss, accident or disadvantage to the players themselves'. This is football.”
― Ian Mortimer, quote from The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century


“While the traditional image of knights in armour is accurate and widely accepted, the equally representative image of knights wearing corsets and suspender belts is perhaps less well known.”
― Ian Mortimer, quote from The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century


“History is not just about the analysis of evidence, unrolling vellum documents or answering exam papers. It is not about judging the dead. It is about understanding the meaning of the past—to realize the whole evolving human story over centuries, not just our own lifetimes.”
― Ian Mortimer, quote from The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century


“Literature is a means to delight the mind and embolden the spirit.”
― Ian Mortimer, quote from The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century


“You might be offered oatcakes as well as bread (especially in the north). If these do not tempt you, consider eating "horse-bread." This is made from a sort of flour of ground peas, bran, and beans–if contemporaries look at you strangely, it is because it is not meant for human consumption.”
― Ian Mortimer, quote from The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century


“You might find it alarming to think that your doctor will not actually need to see you in person but might make a diagnosis based on the position of the stars, the colour and smell of your urine, and the taste of your blood.”
― Ian Mortimer, quote from The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century


“Guy de Chauliac’s advice to those wishing to avoid infection is as follows: ‘Go quickly, go far, and return slowly.”
― Ian Mortimer, quote from The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century


“It is commonly said that a good horse should have fifteen properties and conditions, namely: three of a man, three of a woman, three of a fox, three of a hare and three of an ass: like a man, he should be bold, proud and hardy; like a woman, he should be fair breasted, fair of hair and easy to lie upon; like a fox, he should have a fair tail, short ears and go with a good trot; like a hare, he should have a great eye, a dry head and run well; and like an ass, he should have a big chin, a flat leg and a good hoof.”
― Ian Mortimer, quote from The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century


“W H. Auden once suggested that to understand your own country you need to have lived in at least two others. One can say something similar for periods of time: to understand your own century you need to have come to terms with at least two others. The key to learning something about the past might be a ruin or an archive but the means whereby we may understand it is—and always will be—ourselves.”
― Ian Mortimer, quote from The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century


“Such planetary alignments are thought to lead to local miasmas: concentrations of fetid air and noxious vapors. These miasmas are then blown on the wind and enter men's and women's bodies through the pores of their skin. once inside they disrupt the balance of the 'humours" (the substances believed to control the body's functions), and people fall sick.”
― Ian Mortimer, quote from The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century


“Some physical diagnoses require the physician to taste the patient’s blood. You might find it alarming to think that your doctor will not actually need to see you in person but might make a diagnosis based on the position of the stars, the colour and smell of your urine, and the taste of your blood.”
― Ian Mortimer, quote from The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century


About the author

Ian Mortimer
Born place: in Petts Wood, The United Kingdom
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“I asked this question: How can I think about my brain when it’s my brain doing the thinking? So is this brain pretending to be me thinking about it?”
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