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Published on May 7, 2014
Lucy Worsley was born in Reading, studied Ancient and Modern History at New College, Oxford, and completed a PhD in art history at the University of Sussex. Her first job after leaving college was at Milton Manor in Oxfordshire. Soon after that she moved to the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, as administrator of the Wind and Watermills Section. She joined English Heritage in 1997, first as an Assistant Inspector and then as an Inspector of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings. In 2002 she went to Glasgow Museums before coming to London as Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces in 2003. She presents history programmes on TV, including the current BBC series Elegance and Decadence: The Age of Regency. Her most recent series is If Walls Could Talk, for BBC 4, based on her book of that title.
Reflecting on this series, Lucy tells us of her fascination with every day items in every day homes. Accumulatively, such objects and the ways they are arranged can tell us much about wider cultural changes, meaning that one need not only look at sweeping political reforms to understand history. Who is situated where in the living room, for example, has long been an expression of status, with the most important person often being able to take the most focal seat in the room. Features of a bathroom can also be indicative of the hygiene procedures and standards throughout different eras, and the changing position of the kitchen in the house has reflected both the growth and decline of domestic services. Overall, Lucy makes it very clear that the home provides an interesting focal point for historical changes, and that very often the devil is in the detail.
September 19th 2011, The Tabernacle
5x15 brings together five outstanding individuals to tell of their lives, passions and inspirations. There are only two rules - no scripts and only 15 minutes each.