Fun with History with Lucy Worsley


Since I don’t have tv cable, I’ve recently discovered Lucy Worsley on YouTube and am thoroughly addicted to her BBC programs. She is the “Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, and by night a writer of history books.” I think the first one I watched was “Jane Austen Behind Closed Doors.”

I can never learn too much about Jane Austen, and loved this show. I found Dr. Worsley such a wonderful presenter I’ve now been enjoying a number of her shows, binge watching one after another. As a writer, I found her series “A Very British Romance” (it’s a 3-parter, watch them all) marvelously informative. After that I watched the “Dancing Cheek to Cheek” series which made me want to join a historical dance society, then various shows on the kings and queens of England. Not being British a lot of this was new information to me. I just finished “If Walls Could Talk: The History of the Home” (a 4-parter). Did you know the word “curfew” comes from the French “couvre le feu” (literally “cover fire”)?

She’s an engaging and lively presenter, dressing up in period costumes, learning to dance various dances from history, and actively learning how to do things the way they were done in days of yore, even making ink according to Jane Austen’s own recipe. She’s fascinated with the minutiae of everyday life in the past, which I am as well. I love learning how people survived day-to-day without all our modern conveniences. This kind of information could be very handy for anyone writing post-apocalyptic fiction. No doubt those skills would come in very handy in that setting.

I heartily recommend all her programs, especially if you’re a writer, and most especially a writer of historical fiction. Dr. Worsley makes me wish I’d  become a historian myself. So hie thee to YouTube and watch them all before the BBC pulls the plug on them. And check out her website for upcoming shows. I’m also going to look for her books.

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