Ian Mortimer


Medieval Horizons

' In his razor-sharp book, Mortimer argues the case for the wonder of the Middle Ages with rigour, verve and, above all, evidence.' Helen Carr, Spectator (25 February 2023)

'Ian Mortimer has an invigorating way of looking at history, seeing things not just from the top down, the traditional narrative of kings and statesmen, but also from the bottom up, taking into account the lives of ordinary people. It’s an approach that pays real dividends in this sparkling re-evaluation of the Middle Ages... It’s the small details that grab the attention, such as Mortimer’s explanation of how the rediscovery of mirror-making, a skill lost in the Dark Ages, helped foster self-awareness and contributed to the rise of individualism... Mortimer’s analysis of the evolution of modern English is particularly compelling... An eye-opening book that challenges our preconceptions and prejudices about the past.' Simon Griffith, Mail on Sunday (19 February 2023

'Mortimer's upper date limit of 1600 is beyond the range of what most people think of as medieval. Arguably, that is the point. Medieval Horizons doesn't set out to be a comprehensive survey of medieval England, but rather challenges us to rethink the Middle Ages and its social, cultural and intellectual innovations. Mortimer is a compelling advocate for our medieval inheritance. He is right that we should be proud of it.' Mathew Lyons, The Times (10 February 2023 (online); 11 February 2023 (print))

'The word 'medieval' has become synonymous with 'backwards, ignorant, violent and superstitious.' But here Mortimer reminds us that our modern world is not the result of the technological developments of the past few centuries. Instead, our cultural, personal, social and environmental identities were forged in the medieval period. By shedding light on the important developments made from the first millennium to 1600, Mortimer asks us to redraw our understanding of the past.' Janina Ramirez, author of Femina

'Provocative and refreshing. Medieval Horizons overturns many myths about the Middle Ages, showing that far from an era of stagnation, it was a period of profound change which has shaped today's world.' Seb Falk, author of The Light Ages

Last updated 24 February 2023.