Ian Mortimer


Mortimer's A to Zs of English History

When I was promoting my Time Traveller's Guides to English History, I faced a problem. How do you compress so much vivid life into one hour-long talk? I eventually hit on the solution: an A to Z of interesting, surprising and informative things for each book. These A-to-Z talks were all entertaining and fun for me as well as the audiences, so I decided to return to the idea and rewrite each one for presentation in a stand-alone publication. Reading back over the four talks, it seemed a good idea to add a special fifth A-to-Z piece, describing what the whole experience of 'visiting' four different periods of the past had meant to me. For example, what had I learnt about Englishness in writing about my forebears in four different centuries? What had I learned about Progress, or the Imagination, and the Class system? The result is 104 things that you should know about the individual periods of English history - or which might amuse you, or which are simply fascinating - and 26 lessons I have learnt from the whole exercise.

The book will be published by Old Street Publishing