Ian Mortimer


About Ian Mortimer

Ian Mortimer was born in 1967 and grew up in Petts Wood, in Kent. He won a scholarship to Eastbourne College and later read for a B.A. degree in history at the University of Exeter (1989), a M.A. degree in archive studies at University College London (1993), and the degrees of Ph.D. and D.Litt. at the University of Exeter (2004, 2011). His PhD was on the subject of 'Medical assistance to the dying in provincial southern England, c. 1570-1720'. Between 1991 and 2003 he worked for a succession of archive and historical research organisations, including Devon Record Office, the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts and the universities of Exeter and Reading. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; he was awarded the Alexander Prize by the Royal Historical Society in 2004 for his work on the social history of medicine.

He is one of the most innovative historians working today, pushing the boundaries of both literary form and historical methodology. In total, he has written twenty books: four historical biographies; three Time Traveller's Guides; four novels (three of them as 'James Forrester'); an overview of a thousand years of change in the Western World; two academic monographs; two editions of 17th-century historical documents; a series of articles and essays on the meaning of history, What isn't history? (ebook only); a description of the literary manuscripts in Exeter University Library (co-written with Dr Jessica Gardner); a volume of poems; and a memoir on the meaning of running (due for publication in March 2019). He has also published numerous research articles covering various aspects of English history from the twelfth century to the twentieth. Among his special interests are social change in England since Domesday; the meaning of history; and how we may determine the relationship between information and evidence, or, in other words, 'why do we know what we think we know about the past?' He also is a keen advocate of the public importance of history. Present roles include:

and past public service has included:

He lives in Moretonhampstead, on the north-eastern edge of Dartmoor (Devon), with his wife Sophie and their three children. Hobbies include visiting historical sites, playing guitars, writing fiction as well as poetry and songs, walking in the country and running. Further information is available in an autobiographical note, written in 2008, what's new?' and interviews.