Ian Mortimer


Poetry and Songs

My first compositions were poems. So were my first published works. At the age of sixteen, at boarding school, I picked up my roommate's electric guitar and started to strum. In the holidays I lifted down the old Spanish guitar that my mother had hung on the wall since she gave up trying to play in her twenties. And one way or the other, something worked. Thus I started writing songs too. I don't write songs or poems these days - prose is my only outlet - but verse (in both written and sung forms) taught me how to write and present my writing. Thus I am very conscious that this side of my career was not only important at the time but has benefitted me ever since.

Dr Ian Mortimer's Comedies, Histories & Tragedies. My son Alexander and I jointly produced (through Cross Tree Press) a CD of eight of my original songs and one cover version (an arrangement of 'The Diggers' Song', written shortly before April 1649). Click here for full details and how to order.

Flickering Antiquity

Flickering Antiquity - a collection of poems written 1995-2013, together with the lyrics of seven songs written in that time. Published by Cross Tree Press

For the last twenty years I've normally written a bit of doggerel for the family Christmas card. If you click on this link, it will take you to a list of the annual verses.

Musical collaborations
An album of twelve original songs by twelve artists living in the two adjacent Dartmoor parishes of Moretonhampstead and Chagford. I contributed one song, 'It doesn't matter to me'. A remixed version of this appears on Dr Ian Mortimer's Comedies, Histories & Tragedies

In March 2014 I was invited to speak to the eight musicians who contributed to the Elizabethan Session concerts and album. They also asked me to write some notes for the CD, which I gladly did.

In July 2016 I collaborated again with Emily Askew (who was one of the musicians on The Elizabethan Session). She and her sister Hazel are members of The Artisans: a group who perform medieval music (among other things). Click here for details of the Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval Music.

In May 2017, as a guest on Radio Three's 'Essential Classics', I chose mostly historical music. Hazel Askew and Victoria Couper kindly provided a premiere recording of the fifteenth-century 'Bone Jesu Dulcis Cunctis' as part of this series. A podcast of my interview for Radio Three can be downloaded here.