The best books on the middle ages for those with an odd fascination for filth and torture

Juliana Cummings Author Of Medicine in the Middle Ages: Surviving the Times
By Juliana Cummings

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by the history of medicine, particularly the more macabre details. While researching my family lineage, I became especially interested in medieval medicine and the lives of English monarchs. I was honored to be asked to write a book on medicine in the middle ages, and I dove into the research head first. I have been lucky enough to write for several other publications, and I have self-published on Amazon. I enjoy writing historical fiction and my novel, Sleeping with the Impaler, was a book I truly enjoyed writing. I hope the books I recommended spark your interest as they will stay with me forever.


I wrote...

Medicine in the Middle Ages: Surviving the Times

By Juliana Cummings,

Book cover of Medicine in the Middle Ages: Surviving the Times

What is my book about?

Medicine in the Middle Ages is a fascinating walk through time to the beginnings of European medicine. Learn how the four humors were the concept that medicine revolved around and why bloodletting and purging were common treatments. Get firsthand accounts of the gruesome ordeal of childbirth and the devastation the Black Death had on the world’s population.

Medicine in the Middle Ages is not only a book rich with details of the practice of medicine, but it is a history book that comes alive.

The books I picked & why

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

By Ian Mortimer,

Book cover of The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century

Why this book?

Ian’s book was spot on. Everything you imagine the middle ages to be is brought to life through this brilliant and sometimes amusing read. Ian dives into the dreadful living conditions of the time and gives you an uncanny look at the middle ages. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in how people lived during the middle ages!


The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time

By John Kelly,

Book cover of The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time

Why this book?

The Great Mortality was a key tool in my research for my book. John covered the Black Death in every country it devastated, such as England, Italy, and France. He touches on the effect the Black Death had on the church and the great lengths that were taken to protect the pope. He goes into morbid detail about the plague, and you get a real understanding of what these people went through. I can not recommend this book enough. 


Richard III: Loyalty Binds Me

By Matthew Lewis,

Book cover of Richard III: Loyalty Binds Me

Why this book?

Matt Lewis is a brilliant historian and writer. This biography of Richard III is beautifully written. Matt takes us through Richard’s life from his time as a young boy to his death at Bosworth. Matt’s passion for this monarch is clear, and he makes a very strong case for why he believes the crown was stolen out from under him. Well done, Matt.


Henry - Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy

By Tony Riches,

Book cover of Henry - Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy

Why this book?

Henry VII holds a special place in my heart, and I was hooked on Tony’s book immediately. It was so refreshing to read a historical novel on my favorite monarch. Tony truly brought Henry to life. Henry’s love not only for country but for his beloved wife was so beautifully described. I intend to read the rest of the trilogy!


The Physician

By Noah Gordon,

Book cover of The Physician

Why this book?

The Physician was one of the most exceptional books I have read on the middle ages. I love historical fiction, and I was sucked into this book from page one. Noah takes us through the life of Rob J, a young boy who teams up with a barber-surgeon during the 11th century. For someone who is well-schooled on this time in history, I can honestly say that this book was on point with every historical fact. Please read this book. You won’t be sorry.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Middle Ages, plagues, and England?

5,309 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Middle Ages, plagues, and England.

The Middle Ages Explore 216 books about the Middle Ages
Plagues Explore 25 books about plagues
England Explore 647 books about England

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Rose Garden, The Midwife's Apprentice, and Catherine, Called Birdy if you like this list.