Saturday, 24 March 2012

Dr Ian Mortimer and some Krautrock

Of personal note was attending a recent talk at Waterstone's in Picadilly by Dr Ian Mortimer, the prolific historian and author. Dr Mortimer spoke about his new book, The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England, with characteristic fluency and brio, and I believe that a good evening was had by all. His assured performance and command of his subject was no surprise to me: back in the late 1990s I shared an office with Ian when we worked at the Historical Manuscripts Commission in Quality Court. I think back to those days with great fondness; I don't think a day went by without the pair of us vigorously testing our ideas about history, its meanings, sources, the pleasure of research and writing. Ian was always going to do well; allied to a fertile mind (I read several draft chapters from works that have since appeared in print) was that crucial element that is so often lacking in many would-be authors - an iron determination to succeed in his chosen sphere. A generous man Ian, as well; I remember one impromptu gathering at his place in Stoke Newington where he knocked together a fine meal for eight or nine of his HMC colleagues - it must have set him back a small fortune, but he didn't bat an eyelid. All this, and he's a big fan of Krautrock and Can in particular! I'll always be grateful to him for lending me his copy of Julian Cope's Krautrocksampler; a fine read - why isn't it in print?

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