Worsley in 2014
18 December 1973 |
Reading, Berkshire, England
|Alma mater||University of Sussex (DPhil, 2001)
New College, Oxford (BA, 1995)
|Occupation||Historian, author, curator, television presenter|
|Spouse(s)||Mark Hines (m. 2011)|
Lucy Worsley (born 18 December 1973) is an English historian, author, curator and television presenter.
Worsley is currently Joint Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces but is best known as a presenter of BBC television series on historical topics, including Elegance and Decadence: The Age of the Regency (2011), Harlots, Housewives and Heroines: A 17th Century History for Girls (2012), and The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain (2014).
Early life and education
Lucy Worsley was born in Reading, Berkshire. Her father, Peter Worsley, is a geologist and expert in glaciers and permafrost and an emeritus professor at Reading University; her mother is a consultant in educational policy and practice. She has a younger brother. Before going to university, Worsley attended St Bartholomew's School, Newbury and West Bridgford School, Nottingham. She graduated from New College, Oxford, in 1995 with a first-class honours BA degree in Ancient and Modern History.
Worsley began her career as an historic house curator at Milton Manor, near Abingdon, in the summer of 1995. From 1996 to 2002, she was an Inspector of Historic Buildings for English Heritage in the East Midlands region. During that time she studied the life of William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle and wrote the English Heritage guide to his home, Bolsover Castle. In 2001 she was awarded a DPhil from the University of Sussex for a thesis on "The Architectural Patronage of William Cavendish, first Duke of Newcastle, 1593–1676". The thesis later became her book Cavalier: A Tale of Chivalry, Passion and Great Houses.
During 2002–2003, she was Major Projects and Research Manager for Glasgow Museums before becoming Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity looking after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace State Apartments, the Banqueting House in Whitehall and Kew Palace in Kew Gardens. She oversaw the £12 million refurbishment of the Kensington Palace state apartments and gardens.
In 2011 she presented the four-part television series If Walls Could Talk exploring the history of British homes, from peasants' cottages to palaces; and the three-part series Elegance and Decadence: The Age of the Regency.
In 2012 she co-presented the three-part television series Antiques Uncovered, with antiques and collectibles expert Mark Hill, and (broadcast at the same time) Harlots, Housewives and Heroines, a three-part series on the lives of women after the Civil War and the Restoration of Charles II. Later that year she presented a documentary on Dorothy Hartley's Food in England as part of the BBC Four "Food and Drink" strand.
Her BBC series, A Very British Murder, examined the "morbid national obsession" with murder. The series looked at a number of cases from the 19th century, beginning with the Ratcliff Highway murders which gained national attention in 1811, the Red Barn Murder of 1826 and the "Bermondsey Horror" case of Frederick and Maria Manning in 1849.
In 2014, the three-part series The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain explored the contributions of the German-born kings George I and George II. The series explained why the Hanoverian George I came to be chosen as a British monarch, how he was succeeded by his very different son George II and why without either, the current United Kingdom would likely be a very different place. The series emphasises the positive influence of these kings whilst showing the flaws in each.
|2015||When Lucy met Roy: Sir Roy Strong at 80||BBC Four||23 August 2015.|
|2015||Dancing Through The Blitz: Blackpool's Big Band Story||BBC Two||25 July 2015. Co-presented with Len Goodman and Jools Holland.|
|2015||Cake Bakers and Trouble Makers: Lucy Worsley's 100 years of the WI||BBC Two||20 July 2015.|
|2015||Britain's Tudor Treasure: A Night at Hampton Court||BBC Two||7 February 2015. Co-presented with David Starkey.|
|2014||Dancing Cheek To Cheek: An Intimate History Of Dance||BBC Four||17 November 2014. Co-presented with Len Goodman.|
|2014||Tales from the Royal Wardrobes||BBC Four||7 July 2014.|
|2014||The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain||BBC Four||1 May 2014. Three part series.|
|2013||A Very British Murder||BBC Four||23 September 2013. Three part series.|
|2013||Tales from the Royal Bedchamber||BBC Four||5 August 2013.|
|2013||Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness Changed History||BBC Two||Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.|
|2013||Secret Knowledge, Episode 3||BBC Four||Bolsover Castle 27 March 2013.|
|2012||Food in England: The Lost World of Dorothy Hartley||BBC Four||6 November 2012|
|2012||Harlots, Housewives and Heroines: A 17th Century History for Girls||BBC Four||Three part series (May 2012).|
|2012||Inside the world of Henry VIII||History Channel|
|2012||Antiques Uncovered||BBC Two||May 2012.|
|2011||Elegance and Decadence: The Age of the Regency||BBC Four||Three part series (August–September 2011).|
|2011||If Walls Could Talk: The History of the Home||BBC Four||April 2011.|
|2011||When God Spoke English||BBC Four||21 February 2011.|
|2010||The Curse of the Hope Diamond||Channel 4||24 May 2010.|
|2010||King Alfred the Great?||BBC South||17 May 2010.|
|2009||Inside the Body of Henry VIII||History Channel|
Awards and honours
In July 2015, she was made an honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Sussex (where she had done her PhD).
Worsley lives in Southwark by the River Thames in south London with her husband, the architect Mark Hines, whom she married in November 2011. With reference to having children, Worsley says she has been "educated out of normal reproductive function".
As a TV presenter, she is known for having a rhotacism, a minor speech impediment which affects her pronunciation of "r". When she made the move from BBC Four to BBC Two for the series Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness Changed History, she worked with a speech and language therapist to help with her pronunciation. Her trademark hair clip was also removed.
- A Very British Murder: The Story of a National Obsession (2014).
- If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home (2011).
- The Secret History of Kensington Palace (2011).
- Henry VIII: 500 Facts (2009) with Brett Dolman, Suzannah Lipscomb and Lee Prosser.
- Cavalier: A Tale of Chivalry, Passion and Great Houses (2008).
- The Royal Palaces of London (2008) with David Souden, Brett Dolman and Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales.
- Hampton Court Palace: The Official Illustrated History (2005) with David Souden.
- Kirby Hall, Northamptonshire (English Heritage Guidebooks) (2001).
- Bolsover Castle (2001) with Louise Wilson.
- Hardwick Old Hall (1998).
- Woods, Judith (13 April 2011). "Dr Lucy Worsley: 'I'm just an historian who wandered into TV'". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 24 June 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- "Lucy Worsley on her passion for the past". Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life.
- SPAB News, Vol. 18., no. 2, 1997
- "Milton Manor - Lucy Worsley". LucyWorsley.com.
- Worsley, Lucy (2001). The Architectural Patronage of William Cavendish, first Duke of Newcastle, 1593–1676 (D.Phil. thesis). Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- Spencer, Charles (26 August 2007). "Cavalier: a tale of chivalry, passion and great houses, by Lucy Worsley". The Independent on Sunday. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "Kingston University – Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture". Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- Law, Katie (27 April 2010). "It is time for Princess Diana to take her place in history". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- "Antiques Uncovered". Bbc.co.uk. 19 June 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- "Harlots, Housewives and Heroines: A 17th Century History for Girls at BBC4.com". Bbc.co.uk. 28 May 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- Worsley, Lucy (20 September 2013). "How murder became a very British obsession: It was our bloodthirsty ancestors who turned us into a nation hooked on killers". Daily Mail. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- Owen, Pamela (22 September 2013). "A Very British Murder: How we became hooked on morbid mysteries". The Mirror. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
- "When Lucy met Roy: Sir Roy Strong at 80". BBC.
- "Dancing Through The Blitz: Blackpool's Big Band Story". BBC.
- "A Very British Murder with Lucy Worsley". RadioTimes.
- "Radio Times". RadioTimes.
- The Telegraph Reviews Part 1
- The Telegraph Reviews Part 3
- "Secret Knowledge". RadioTimes.
- Siobhan Palmer (25 February 2015). "Claudia Winkleman nominated for RTS award for her new role as Strictly presenter". The Telegraph. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- Wadsworth, Jo. "TV historian given honorary Sussex Uni degree". Brighton and Hove News. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "Lucy Worsley’s My London". Evening Standard. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- "On being 2.5% famous". Lucy Worsley. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- Times, 5/8/13
- "In which my speech impediment is criticised, but all ends happily". LucyWorsley.com.
- Wintle, Angela (14 October 2011). "World of Dr Lucy Worsley, curator and broadcaster". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- BBC Historian Lucy Worsley explores her own past
- Lucy Worsley on Twitter
- Royal Historic Palaces Official Website
- Lucy Worsley BBC Blog Page
- Lucy Worsley at the Internet Movie Database
- 'Lots of historians are sniffy about re-enactors' The Guardian 27 March 2011.