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  • The Time Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain

  • By: Ian Mortimer
  • Narrated by: Ian Mortimer
  • Length: 17 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (119 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

In the latest volume of his celebrated series of Time Traveller's Guides - after the Middle Ages, Elizabethan England and Restoration Britain - Ian Mortimer turns to what is arguably the most loved period in British history: the Regency (a.k.a. Georgian England). Bookended by the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789 and the death of George IV in 1830, this is the age of Jane Austen and the Romantic poets, the paintings of John Constable and the gardens of Humphry Repton, the sartorial elegance of Beau Brummell and the poetic licence of Lord Byron, Britain's military triumphs at Trafalgar and Waterloo and the threat of revolution and the Peterloo massacre. 

A time of exuberance, thrills, frills and unchecked bad behaviour, it was perhaps the last age of true freedom before the arrival of the stifling world of Victorian morality. At the same time, it was a period of transition that reflected unprecedented social, economic and political change; it was dominated by population growth, urbanisation and industrialisation, fear of social unrest and demands for political reform. And like all periods in history, it was an age of many contradictions - where Beethoven's thundering Fifth Symphony could premier in the same year that saw Jane Austen craft the delicate sensitivities of Persuasion.

Once more, Ian Mortimer takes us on a thrilling journey to the past, revealing what people ate, drank and wore, where they shopped and how they amused themselves, what they believed in and what they were afraid of. Conveying the sights, sounds and smells of the Regency period, this is history at its most exciting, physical, visceral - the past not as something to be studied but as lived experience.

©2020 Ian Mortimer (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Time Traveller's Guide to Regency Britain

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic!

Another triumph. I have loved the previous Time Travellers Guides and this doesn’t disappoint. Ian reads with good humour and clarity, much how he writes. Grateful to him that my knowledge of the Regency has expanded.

5 people found this helpful

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Not as well narrated as his previous books

Didn't like the narratormuchon this book, preferred previous one. A wealth of historical detail again I just found it less interesting than his other books. maybe it was the narrator, maybe the Regency era isn't as compelling?

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent as always

I have all the Time Travellers Guides and it was nice to have the author narrate this one. I always feel you get the true inflection when the author reads :) The Regency is my favourite historical time period so I’ve been looking forward to this book for a while. So pleased it didn’t disappoint.

2 people found this helpful

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More stats than guide book

If you are looking for endless stats on the number of churches, terraced houses, pubs etc about the UK then this is your book. I was hoping for a piece of escapism, writing that would be evocative of the period and allow me to feel as though I was walking through Regency Britain experiencing it’s sights and sounds. This is unfortunately just a collection of dull numbers from historical records which is exactly the opposite of what I was looking for. Perhaps a proper writer and not a boring academic should attempt to take on the concept as it is a good idea, just poorly executed.

2 people found this helpful

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Enlightening Riveting Read

Perhaps it’s because I love these guides, or I am a history fanatic or that I hold to Jane Austen being the best novelist of all time: that this is the best in the series of time traveller guides yet. The most interesting thing is in the last chapter: the ideas that we hold today of environmentalism, liberalism, freedom for all people and freedom to express themselves as they wish are all born in this period. And perhaps this is why Jane Austen, Beethoven and Turner are still loved and emulated today for we are not very different. We stand upon the shoulders of Wilberforce and Wolstencraft and it inspires me not to let their passion for justice be bogged down in the cosy contraptions of modernity: very much as they weren’t. Excellent book. For a novel approach do listen to his novel “the outcasts of time” which puts the academic into a gripping story of time travel and evolving attitudes.

1 person found this helpful

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Pure pleasure from beginning to end.

This is the fourth century I have travelled in with Ian Mortimer and it is the best so far. Fascinating and thought provoking from beginning to end, with laugh out loud moments thrown in.

It's always a treat to listen to an author narrating their own book and Ian was a delight to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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Very good author but less good narrator

I like Mortimer's Time Traveller's books. I have four of them in my library. However this is the only book narrated by the author. I was disappointed with the narration mainly due to not catching at least one word in every sentence.

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Not as good as previous books.

I love all the previous Time Traveller's guides and have been eagerly awaiting this newest release. However I was disappointed to find it wasn't as immersive as it's predecessors, I found this volume to be more statistic based and it definitely didn't feel like I was taking a trip back in time like I did with the other guidebooks.

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Excellent

Excellent book. I enjoyed listening to the other books in this series and this one certainly didn’t disappoint! Really felt transported into this period of history. Thanks

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Brillant!

Loved this installment of Ian Mortimer's series as he narrates it himself and his passion for his subject really comes across.