A Travel Guide to the Middle Ages: The World Through Medieval Eyes (Hardback)
  • A Travel Guide to the Middle Ages: The World Through Medieval Eyes (Hardback)
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A Travel Guide to the Middle Ages: The World Through Medieval Eyes (Hardback)

(author)
£18.99
Hardback 448 Pages
Published: 02/11/2023
  • 10+ in stock

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Waterstones Says

Through previously untranslated contemporary accounts from scholars, spies and saints, this captivating volume explores how global connections were formed through both exploration and imagination in the Middle Ages.

From the medieval bazaars of Tabriz, to the mysterious island of Caldihe, where sheep were said to grow on trees, Anthony Bale brings history alive in A Travel Guide to the Middle Ages, inviting the reader to travel across a medieval world punctuated with miraculous wonders and long-lost landmarks. Journeying alongside scholars, spies and saints, from western Europe to the Far East, the Antipodes, and the ends of the world, this is no ordinary travel guide, containing everything from profane pilgrim badges, Venetian laxatives and flying coffins to encounters with bandits and trysts with princesses.

Using previously untranslated contemporary accounts from as far and wide as Turkey, Iceland, Armenia, north Africa, and Russia, A Travel Guide to the Middle Ages is a living atlas that blurs the distinction between real and imagined places, offering the reader a vivid and unforgettable insight into how medieval people understood their world.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780241530849
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 680 g
Dimensions: 242 x 165 x 38 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A stunning book . . . weird and wonderful and quietly hilarious, but the enormous fun of this book would not be possible without solid graft — Bale’s dogged research and his diligent crafting of perfect prose - Gerard deGroot, The Times

A joyful, erudite book, and a global Middle Ages for our times. Journeying from a monastery in Wiltshire to Ethiopia, India and China, Anthony Bale reinvents the period through its intrepid travellers, and in the process redefines the period - Jerry Brotton, author of A History of the World in 12 Maps

Intrepid, entertaining, and unfailingly curious, he has now travelled far and wide in their company; balancing sympathy with scepticism, he marvellously reconfigures the contours of our forebears' knowledge - Marina Warner

Rich and wonderful. This is the world as you have never seen it before - and as it will never be seen again. And it's more surprising, extraordinary and bizarre than anything you can possibly imagine - Ian Mortimer, author of The Time-Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England

A fascinating read . . . a new fact to be discovered on every page, written with enthusiasm and wisdom - Reverend Kate Bottley

Masterful, panoramic, beautifully written and vividly imagined, A Travel Guide to the Middle Ages is a book to be savoured - Dr Helen Castor, author of Blood and Roses and She-Wolves

Anthony Bale's fascinating book immerses us in all the experiences of medieval travel . . . An enthralling journey into the past and across the world, packed with incidents that any reader will find deliciously exotic, yet wryly familiar. Like the most memorable journeys, this book takes us to barely imaginable places - but the most remarkable thing we find may be ourselves - Seb Falk, author of The Light Ages

This is a gorgeous and fascinating storybook and a richly satisfying journey into the medieval mind . . . All this rests on his prodigious knowledge of the least expected sources. Bale opens a whole scholarly library of smells, tastes and terrors and makes a living parade of them - Michael Pye, author of The Edge of the World

A Travel Guide to the Middle Ages is an exhilarating and erudite combination of historical learning and imagination, which guides the reader on a wondrous journey through the real and fantastical worlds of the late Middle Ages . . . Bale reveals the humanity, mundanity, and marvels of travel, from brothels and latrines to statues and spectacular sites - Elizabeth Boyle, author of Fierce Appetites

A Lonely Planet book for the medieval traveller . . . In this deeply researched but witty and readable guide, Anthony Bale brings us face-to-face with medieval travel – the sights and smells, the thrill and the homesickness – in a way that feels instantly recognisable even at so many centuries’ distance - Dennis Duncan, author of Index

A Travel Guide to the Middle Ages ingeniously offers the reader two experiences at once. We travel with Europeans of those centuries as they travelled across the Eurasian landmass, and sometimes beyond; but we also travel to them, to their workshops, homes, libraries, towns squares, where they imagined and prepared for travel, and where they told their tales upon return . . . This travel guide is arranged not by time or places, but by encounters and experiences, just as travel is and should be. Anthony Bale seems transformed by his prodigious scholarship and travel, and this edifying and entertaining book is the proof - Professor Miri Rubin, author of Cities of Strangers

This endlessly delightful book replicates the promises and pleasures of real travel, as we bump into and then lose sight of familiar faces in unfamiliar places. Anthony Bale is an adroit, companionable, and non-judgmental host on the road; he wears his deep knowledge lightly - James Simpson, Professor of English at Harvard University

Vivid, exciting and astonishing, Anthony Bale's medieval world is one populated by marvels and fantasies. Bale's exploration, told through the many travellers' texts produced in the later Middle Ages, is beautiful, gripping and fascinating, and informed always by gentle and empathetic reflection upon what it means to be a fragile human being in motion through strange lands, both then and now - John Arnold, Professor of Medieval History at the University of Cambridge

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