Ian Mortimer


Human Race (UK)
Millennium (USA)

(UK hardback published as 'Centuries of Change')


'This is an excellent romp through the past millenium of British (and particularly English) history. As with all of Ian Mortimer's books, it is highly entertaining, well written and packed with lively characters and surprising facts. Mortimer opens by asking which of the past 10 centuries saw most change in the ways people lived... Each of the 10 chapters that follow takes us through one century, vividly describing what changed (and what didn't). It's fascinating stuff.' (Professor Ian Morris (Stanford University), author of Why the West Rules - For Now. Review published in BBC History Magazine, February 2016).

'Ian Mortimer is one of those rare historians who can both bring the past alive and at the same time challenge his readers' preconceptions. In this endlessly stimulating book, he surveys the past ten centuries of western history and asks which periods saw the greatest advances in human development, and why. His analysis is erudite yet unfailingly clear.' (Non-fiction Paperback of the Week, Mail on Sunday, 1 November 2015).

'Mortimer is an entertaining guide on this superb time-travel journey of human innovations.' (Julia Richardson, 'Must Reads', Daily Mail, 22 October 2015).

'A book that should provoke lively debate around dinner tables throughout the land... He draws a wide circle of investigation, employing his well-stocked mind, wide curiosity, verve, humour, telling turn of phrase, and a proven ability to clarify and intrigue by making unlikely conjunctions and connections.' (Juliet Gardiner, History Today, May 2015).

'A fascinating study.' (Professor Lauro Martines, Times Literary Supplement, 6 March 2015).

'Fascinating and often humorous.' (The Sun, 9 January 2015).

'Historian Ian Mortimer has become synonymous with insightful and fascinating social histories of Britain, and his latest, Centuries of Change, is no exception... Written in his usual accessible yet quirky style, Mortimer proves his worth as the best upmarket tour guide to the hidden mysteries of the past that we have.' (Alex Larman, The Daily Express, 1 December 2014).

'Endlessly fascinating, sublimely erudite... I loved this book. It's witty, clever, opinionated and, with its authoritative insights into the current of ideas and technology over a millennium, it will enable you to understand your past, your place in it and that of your ancestors as never before. A modern classic.' (James Delingpole, The Mail on Sunday, 2 November 2014).

'Provocative and enjoyable... Almost every page of this engaging book sets your mind racing with almost unanswerable questions. Which were more important: castles or markets? Railways or aeroplanes?' (Dominic Sandbook, The Sunday Times, 2 November 2014).

'[A] lively survey of 1000 years of western history... In other hands, this could have been a grindingly worthy book, but as you'd expect of the author of the bestselling Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England, it's rather fun. We learn that buttons arrived in the 1330s, and that, when William of Rubruck finally made it to the Mongol capital of Karakorum in 1254, he found the Hungarian-born son of an Englishman waiting for him, along with the nephew of a Norman bishop. Mortimer turns a decent phrase, too.' (James McConnachie, The Spectator, 1 November 2014).

'Fascinating... On his whirlwind tour of history through the past millennium, he takes his readers on an entertaining and thought-provoking journey via stories of discovery, invention, revolution and cataclysmic shifts in perspective, then explains why it really does matter.' (Choice Magazine, 1 November 2014).

'This erudite book tries to work out which one was most affected and comes up with an answer that most people would probably agree with... [It] retains the Mortimer sparkle and his social history fans will find much to entertain and inform them.' (Anthony Looch, The Gloucestershire Echo, 19 October 2014).

'Original and fascinating... It is a planetary ride which Mortimer offers us in his tour of ten centuries. It is exhilarating to time-travel with him, free of the complexities of dynasties, wars and politics that normally clutter up history.' (Peter Lewis, The Daily Mail, 10 October 2014).

'This is a lively book, an argument made with humour and wit, an engaging way to view our own history.' (lovereading.co.uk).