Mortimer, Ian 1967-

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Mortimer, Ian 1967-


Born 1967, in Petts Wood, Kent, England; married; wife's name Sophie; children: three. Education: Exeter University, B.A., Ph.D.; University College of London, M.A.


Home—Dartmoor, England. Agent—James Gill, PFD, Drury House, 34-43 Russell St., London WC2B 5HA, England.


Writer. Worked variously until 2003 as an archivist for Devon Record Office, Exeter, England, for the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts, London, England, the University of Exeter, and the University of Reading, Reading, England. Member, Dartmoor National Park Authority, 2003-07; committee member, Friends of Devon Archives.


Royal Historical Society (fellow), Moretonhampstead History Society (chair).


Alexander Prize, Royal Historical Society, 2004, for work on the social history of medicine; Honorary University Research fellow, Exeter University.


The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, Ruler of England, 1327-1330, Jonathan Cape (London, England), 2003, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2006.

The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III: Father of the English Nation, Jonathan Cape (London, England), 2006.

The Fears of Henry IV: the Life of England'ss Self-Made King, Jonathan Cape (London, England), 2007.


Berkshire Glebe Terriers, 1634, Berkshire Record Society (Reading, England), 1995.

Record Repositories in Great Britain, 10th edition, PRO Publications (London, England), 1997, 11th edition, 1999.

Berkshire Probate Accounts, 1583-1712, Berkshire Record Society (Reading, England), 1999.

(With Jessica Gardner) Modern Literary Manuscripts in the Library of the University of Exeter, University of Exeter Library (Exeter, England), 2003.

Contributor to books, including Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2004; The Reign of Edward II: New Perspectives, edited by Gwilym Dodd and Anthony Musson, Boydell (Suffolk, England), 2006; and Medicine and the Market in England and Its Colonies, c. 1450-1850, edited by Mark S.R. Jenner and Patrick Wallis, Palgrave (Hampshire, England), 2007. Contributor of articles and book reviews to periodicals, including History, Archaeologia Cantiana, English Historical Review, Archives, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Journal of the Henry Williamson Society, Medical History, Sixteenth Century Journal, Social History of Medicine, Textile History, History Today, Living History, BBC History, and the London Guardian.


In The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, Ruler of England, 1327-1330, historian Ian Mortimer, who is no relation to his subject, fleshes out historical facts to make an interesting addition to the period. Sir Mortimer was involved with Queen Isabella, the consort to Edward II, a triangle that nearly led to Sir Mortimer's execution in the Tower of London. However, Sir Mortimer escaped and managed to overthrow Edward, ending up as ruler of England at Isabella's side before ultimately being overthrown himself. Gilbert Taylor, writing for Booklist, commented: "This well-researched tome fills a gap in British annals of monarchy." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly, asserted that "Mortimer effectively addresses gaps in the known facts and bolsters recent recasting of the history of this violent era." History Today contributor Nigel Saul called the book "a superb study of the man who was effective ruler of England from 1327 to 1330." He continued: "It is not easy to write the life of a medieval magnate. The sources are few, and it is hard to bring them to life. Too often, an attempted biography degenerates into a ‘life and times’ treatment, in which the subject recedes into the background. But not so here: Roger is kept firmly to the fore."

With The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III: Father of the English Nation Mortimer moves to the next generation, looking at the reign of Edward III, son of Isabella and King Edward II. Edward III was known for his take-charge attitude and tendency to fly in the face of danger in order to maintain or take the upper hand. Mortimer relates both his life and political activities, but primarily focuses on his personality and the experiences that drove him, offering readers a different viewpoint than previous biographers. A reviewer for the Economist called Mortimer's effort a "tense, terrific book," and remarked that "at times, the reader seems almost able to reach across time and touch the man."



Biography, spring, 2006, review of The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, Ruler of England, 1327-1330.

Booklist, March 1, 2006, Gilbert Taylor, review of The Greatest Traitor, p. 59.

Contemporary Review, August 1, 2003, review of The Greatest Traitor, p. 128.

Economist, April 15, 2006, "Ideal of Chivalry; English History," review of The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation, p. 84.

History Today, May 1, 2003, Nigel Saul, review of The Greatest Traitor, p. 67.

Library Journal, March 1, 2006, B. Allison Gray, review of The Greatest Traitor, p. 100.

Publishers Weekly, January 23, 2006, review of The Greatest Traitor, p. 201.

Spectator, February 25, 2006, Jonathan Sumption, "A Glorious Road to Ruin," p. 41.

Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, April 1, 2005, Michael A. Hicks, review of The Greatest Traitor, p. 644.

Times Literary Supplement, March 14, 2003, Alex Burghart, "In the Love-Web," review of The Greatest Traitor, p. 15; May 19, 2006, John Gillingham, "Fathers and Sons," review of The Perfect King, p. 28.


Ian Mortimer Home Page, (May 14, 2007).

PFD Web site, (May 14, 2007), brief biography of Ian Mortimer.

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Mortimer, Ian 1967-

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