Ian Mortimer was educated at Eastbourne College, the University of Exeter, and University College London. He gained his Ph.D. in history from the University of Exeter and has subsequently held research posts at that university as well as the University of Reading and the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1998 and was awarded the Alexander Prize by the Society in 2004. He is currently an honorary university research fellow at the University of Exeter and lives on the edge of Dartmoor with his wife and their three children. He is not descended from Sir Roger Mortimer, the subject of his book The Greatest Traitor.