“The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England” by Ian Mortimer

time_travelers_guide_to_medieval_england

This book contains a broad survey of English life during the 14th century.  I thought it was passably interesting, but a little too broad with not much meat … or maybe I just have more familiarity with the subject from other books and Crusader Kings 2.

One striking thing to think about is how devastating disease was without modern medicine.  England’s population fell from 5 million to 2.5 million between 1300 and 1400, with much of the loss occurring during the 1348-49 Great Plague.  The 80-90% losses over similar time periods among the Native Americans in the years after European contact are not that far out of line with the Old World experiences.  For England, mortality due to disease and other factors left the median age during the century around 21 years, almost half of what it is today.

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