SEVENOAKS LITERARY CELEBRATION
We are delighted to be organising a special evening event at Ightham Mote during the Sevenoaks Summer Festival with historian Dr Ian Mortimer entitled CENTURIES OF CHANGE.
Seats are limited to 60 because of the limited size of the Great Hall, so get your tickets early to avoid disappointment.
Ian Mortimer –
A special event on June 27 at
Few historians have the gift of bringing history to life in the way that Ian Mortimer
does in his best-
His method is to take the last ten centuries and ask which of them saw the most change. While centred on western Europe as the heartland of medieval Christendom, his analysis gradually broadens as he moves through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and into the modern world.
Starting in the small Devon village where he lives, Dr Mortimer sketches a vivid
picture of life at the start of the second millennium: ‘ The inhabitants lived a
tough life, eating mainly vegetables, cheese and the hardy grains that they could
grow in the acid soil, such as rye, oats and vetches. No one could read or write;
there were no priests here, no parish church.’ By the end of the book, he is sceptical
about the potential for travel to other planets, and argues that humanity’s old vision
of breaking new frontiers of discovery is out of date as the Earth’s resources become
depleted. ‘ The challenge now is not one of expansion but of self-
On the way from then to now, the book contains some surprising insights into the
great thinkers and writers who influenced not just what people did, but how they
saw the world. He plumps for Karl Marx as the agent of change in the 19 th century
and Adolf Hitler in the 20 th, suggesting that not all change is for the better.
'If there is to be hope for mankind, we must accept that it may be better for us
all if the principal agent of change in the twenty-
Dr Mortimer’s early academic career (he was born in Petts Wood in 1967) took him to universities and archives in Exeter, Reading and London. He is now an independent historian who also writes poetry and novels. Combining a rigorous approach to research with an easy accessible style, he is much in demand as a writer and speaker.
Dr Ian Mortimer will give a lecture entitled Centuries of Change
at a special
Sevenoaks Literary Celebration event on
in the historic surroundings of
by kind permission of the National Trust.
This event is part of the Sevenoaks Summer Festival.
Tickets are on sale at £10 from Sevenoaks Bookshop.
Total length around 90 minutes.