I was first introduced to Lucy Worsley in March 2013 when, after visiting Kensington Palace, I was looking for books on the Georgian kings and came across her Courtiers (which I wholly recommend to everyone). After visiting Hampton Court Palace with M in July 2013, I bought Home: If Walls Could Talk. It isn’t quite as good as Courtiers, but it is arranged like an encyclopaedia- there is a different goal. So, she was in my mind.
Then upon arriving home from Ireland, I was desperate to read and watch anything historical. I was actually looking for a show on Kensington Palace, and stumbled across the PBS series on different grand house and palaces (and Selfridges, randomly). That led to me looking for more documentary type shows to watch. Enter, Lucy Worsley.
The first of hers that I saw was Harlots, Housewives, and Heroines from the BBC. She looks at women in the Restoration period- woman in the royal court, regular women, and exceptional women. I have never focused on gender history (I am drawn to cultural history, myself) but she does a fantastic job of delving into these women!
Next I found her four part series on the home (based on her book). Also interesting, each instalment covered a different room in the home, moving from the late middle ages to the present. I started to care less towards the end of each episode as I don’t have any great investment in modern history.
The television version of A Very British Murder kept me coming back. I wasn’t sure if it would, because I am squeamish and didn’t know if I would be able to handle seeing and hearing about brutal murders, but I was able to handle it. (I still pass out hella easy, so this is pretty much my limit.) This was a subject I knew absolutely nothing about and I found Worsley to be informative. The fact that I knew nothing did not impede my enjoyment in any way. I would have liked her to go back further than the early nineteenth century, but then again, I suppose her argument is that that is when the British fascination with murder began!
And then, the créme dé la créme, my favourite?? The First Georgians. Now that I have visited Kensington Palace no less than three times in five months (including on my birthday), I am enthralled by the Georgians, so quirky and fascinating. I don’t think that I would like to engage with them on a scholarly level, but I will forever be reading biographies and histories of them, particularly Georges I and II. It was an exciting, changing time in England, and she equally divides the programme between the family and England as a whole. Just wonderful.
I’ve just seen Tales from the Royal Wardrobe- I found it well-done, though I’m not sure how often I will re-watch that one. Odd considering how much I enjoy fashion. I’m hoping to be able to watch Dancing Cheek to Cheek (a history of dance) in the next month, I’ll let you know what I think! Ditto for Britain’s Tudor Treasure: A Night at Hampton Court.
I could watch all of these programmes again and again and again, and I do 🙂 Do you have any shows that you will watch over and over again? Do you have any favourite historical presenters, or presenters of any kind?
In the next while, I will post about a few of my other favourite presenters!