Ian Mortimer


 

Forthcoming Books

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 delayed because of other projects and more pressing concerns. Coronavirus shutting archives in the UK has not helped. 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. Some time in the future. Maybe.

Don't hold your breath.

  

The History of England through the Windows of an Ordinary House

In the meantime I've started work on an experimental book about the history of England. How would it appear if it had been written by the person living in this house - or a house on this site - since the eighth century? What would be different from a traditional history with that consistent perspective? What would be more important and what less important? Moreover, how would those people living here appear to us if we could see them? Thus this book is a national history but also a local story; at the same time it is a social history of the English with a southwestern emphasis. You can tell it is not like your normal history book from the fact that there is no documentary record of Moretonhampstead before Domesday Book (compiled in 1086), which appears in chapter five. Indeed, how many other house histories can claim the property was lived in by a thirteenth-century priest who was pardoned for murder, or 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. Or point to the still-visible damage of 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.