Molvania (A Land Untouched by Modern Dentistry), only about the past instead of about an imaginary place. But no, alas, this was just a weird mix of dry scholarly facts and figures presented in the dullest of formats, prose chapters studded with occasional headings. Mortimer does try to sprinkle in some first-hand accounts to liven things up a bit, but he relies so heavily on Chaucer that it starts to feel like a Cliff Notes version of The Canterbury Tales.
The thing that annoyed me most of all about this book, though, was its assumption that the time traveller who was using this book was male. Written mostly in the second person, the book directed all its information to a "you" who was obviously a man. For example, "you" would wear a certain kind of cloak, but a woman would wear a different kind, the book explained. If "you" were traveling by horse, you might expect certain things to happen at an inn, but a woman wouldn't really be traveling by horse, the book points out. What's with that? Yes, I do understand that women's lives were lived more in the background during medieval times, but since the whole book is a fake construct anyway, why adopt this odd voice? No one, male or female, is really going to use the book because you can't time travel (duh!) so why not just talk to everyone the same way and handle gender-related exceptions as they crop up? Real travel guides have no trouble discussing options that are available to only one gender (such as segregated bath houses, for example), without resorting to treating half the possible readers as afterthoughts.
(Book 42, 2010)