About the Author

Photograph of Dr Mortimer by Sol Sparks, 2016

The Time Traveller's Guides were developed by the British historian, Dr Ian Mortimer, between 1994 and 2020. The idea stems from his childhood frustration with history-as-education and, later, his growing awareness of the limitations of academia. In short, historical education is to history what musical study is to music: a means to an end, or the necessary prelude to a performance. Moreover, a historical education forces students to examine people in the past objectively, like butterflies pinned out in a museum cabinet. But, as Ian wrote in The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England, the best way to see butterflies is alive, and flying about. Hence his work is largely about giving life back to the past, putting flesh back on our ancestors' old bones.

Ian holds four degrees: BA, PhD and DLitt from the University of Exeter and MA from UCL. Prior to becoming a full-time writer in 2001 he worked for Devon Record Office, the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts and the universities of Exeter and Reading. He was awarded the Alexander Prize (2004) by the Royal Historical Society for his work on the social history of medicine. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Further information about him is available on his website, www.ianmortimer.com. If you wish to contact him, either send him a message via twitter or contact his agent or publicist.

Click here to buy Ian's books at a discount from his 'bookshop' at uk.bookshop.org (and support independent booksellers at the same time).


Photograph of Dr Mortimer taken by Soleil Sparks, 2016

"Ian Mortimer's books are brilliant not because they bring the past back to life but because they prove that there was once life in the past."
Adventures in Historyland