The Time Traveller’s Guide to Restoration Britain
The past is a foreign country: this is your guidebook.
If you could travel back in time, the period from 1660 to 1700 would make one of the most exciting destinations in history. It is the age of Samuel Pepys and the Great Fire of London; bawdy comedy and the libertine court of Charles II; Christopher Wren in architecture, Henry Purcell in music and Isaac Newton in science ― the civil wars are over and a magnificent new era has begun.
But what would it really be like to live in Restoration Britain? Where would you stay and what would you eat? What would you wear and where would you do your shopping? The third volume in the series of Ian Mortimer’s bestselling Time Traveller’s Guides answers the crucial questions that a prospective traveller to seventeenth-century Britain would ask.
How much should you pay for one of those elaborate wigs? Should you trust a physician who advises you to drink fresh cow’s urine to cure your gout? Why are boys made to smoke in school? And why are you unlikely to get a fair trial in court?
People’s lives are changing rapidly – from a world of superstition and religious explanation to rationalism and scientific calculation. In many respects the period sees the tipping point between the old world and the new as fear and uncertainty, hardship and eating with your fingers give way to curiosity and professionalism, fine wines and knives and forks. Travelling to Restoration Britain encourages us to reflect on the customs and practices of daily life – and this unique guide not only teaches us about the seventeenth century but makes us look with fresh eyes at the modern world.
THE TIME TRAVELLER’S GUIDE TO RESTORATION BRITAIN was published on 6th April 2017 by Bodley Head.