Ian Mortimer


Forthcoming Books

Ian Mortimer's A-Zs of English History: the Time Traveller's Guide Talks

An edited and extended version of the four promotional talks I composed for the four Time Traveller's Guides, arranged under the letters of the alphabet. Amounting in all to 104 things that you should know about the period, or which might amuse you - or which are simply fascinating.

Due for completion by the end of 2023. Publication yet to be arranged.

The History of England through the Windows of an Ordinary House

How would the history of England appear if it was presented from a single viewpoint? We often express our national history as a series of stories dotted around the country - the South East for the Battle of Britain; London in the time of Samuel Pepys; the north in the Industrial Revolution. But this results in a patchwork quilt of a narrative - a history of nowhere in particular. Instead, how would it have appeared to the people living in my house in rural Devon - or a house on this site - since the eighth century? What would be different? What would be more important and what less important? Moreover, how would those people living here strike us if we could see them? This experimental book is thus both a national history and a local one. At the same time it is a social history of the English with a southwestern emphasis. It won't be like your normal history book, least of all like a traditional house history. What was the importance of the murder of Thomas Becket here? Did Magna Carta matter to the people here in 1215? How many other house histories can claim the property was lived in by a thirteenth-century priest who was pardoned for murder, and connect the owner with a judge at the trial of Mary, Queen of Scots? Or refer to a seventeenth-century resident carving his initials in the woodwork. And point to the still-visible damage from the winter of 1740? As for the garden walls being laid out in the Bronze Age, suffice to say, this house is on a long, magnificent journey through time - and so is England - and so are we.

Due for completion in 2024 and for publication in early 2026.


Warrior of the Roses

The life of Richard Plantagenet (1411-1460), duke of York, father of Edward IV and Richard III. This book has been under contract with The Bodley Head since 2006 but has had to be put back a number of times. The closure of archives and libraries due to Covid-19 did not help. Who'd have thought it - medieval history held up by a modern plague. It will probably be published in... oh, heavens, I don't know. I've given up trying to guess.