Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Greatest Traitor

The Greatest Traitor

The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, Ruler of England: 1327--1330

Ian Mortimer

Thomas Dunne Books



One night in August 1323, a captive rebel baron, Sir Roger Mortimer, drugged his guards and escaped from the Tower of London. With the king's men-at-arms in pursuit he fled to the south coast and sailed to France. There he was joined by Isabella, the Queen of England, who threw herself into his arms. A year later, as lovers, they returned with an invading army: King Edward II's forces crumbled before them and Mortimer took power. He removed Edward II in the first deposition of a monarch in British history. Then the ex-king was apparently murdered, some said with a red-hot poker, in Berkeley Castle.

Brutal, intelligent, passionate, profligate, imaginative, and violent, Sir Roger Mortimer was an extraordinary character. It is not surprising that the Queen lost her heart to him. Nor is it surprising that his contemporaries were terrified of him. But until now no one has appreciated the full evil genius of the man. This first biography, The Greatest Traitor by Ian Mortimer, reveals not only Mortimer's career as a feudal lord, a governor of Ireland, a rebel leader, and a dictator of England, but also the truth of what happened that night in Berkeley Castle.


Praise for The Greatest Traitor

“Mortimer's book roars, races, and sings... with a sense of passion and drama and an unrelenting pace.” —Ann Wroe, author of The Perfect Prince: Truth and Deception in Renaissance Europe

“A marvelous tale of adventure and intrigue ... One of the truly great and memorable stories in medieval history.” —The Good Book Guide (UK)

“A superb study of the man who was effective ruler of England from 1327 to 1330.” —Nigel Saul, author of The Three Richards: Richard I, Richard II, and Richard III

“Ian Mortimer's exacting standards of scholarship mean that his book will undoubtedly remain the standard authority on its subject.” —Mark Bostridge, author of Lives for Sales: Biographers' Tales

“A compelling page-turner. He succeeds in bringing Mortimer to life as never before.” —Alison Weir, author of Queen Isabella: Treachery, Adultery, and Murder in Medieval England

“An exemplary account that demonstrates a deep engagement with the sources and a refreshing directness of narrative style.” —W. M. Ormrod, author of The Reign of Edward III

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Ian Mortimer

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 The Greatest Traitor.

Ian Mortimer

From the Publisher

Thomas Dunne Books

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