BA History from Royal Holloway, University of London
Specialist period of History
Women’s history c1500-1970 (but especially Edwardian Britain)
Subjects Taught in the School
A Level Religious Conflict and the Church in England c1529-c1570
Dinner Party: Which 6 people from History would you invite and why
- Boudicca – because I think she’d be a passionate debater and that’s always fun. I could also ask her if it’s pronounced Boudicca or Boadicea. This has always bothered me.
- Anne Askew – She was a Protestant martyr who was put to death in 1536. She was illegally tortured after she made her confession, then she dictated her account of what happened to someone and it was smuggled out of the Tower of London. Wriothesley, the Privy Councillor who tortured her, wanted to find out if she knew Queen Katherine Parr. There’s an easier way, Wriothesley – invite her to dinner! Also I think she’d have a stand up row with Henry VIII, which would be very funny.
- Henry VIII (then feed him lettuce while everyone else had steak, ha ha)
- George Washington (to talk about gun crime in America, so he could go and change the Constitution. It’s not a frontier country any more, people!)
- James Simpson (discoverer of chloroform as an anaesthetic) because he discovered its effects by accident at a dinner party, so something unexpected could happen!
- Emma Hamilton (Nelson’s mistress) She came from nothing, became one of the most famous women in Britain during the Napoleonic Wars, and died in poverty in a debtors’ prison – I’d like to know how she felt about being abandoned with her young daughter after Nelson’s death. Also she’d probably hit it off with Henry VIII.
If you could be present at any historical event
The Boston Tea Party, for several reasons 1. I’d want to know if they all saw it as the first step towards becoming the most powerful nation in the world 2. I’d drink some 18th century tea at the most famous tea-related event ever (then get a t-shirt that said ‘I drank tea at the Boston Tea Party and all I got was this lousy t-shirt’) 3. The clothes were just better then – I would bring some back with me.
Favourite Historical book
Bess of Hardwick, by Mary S. Lovell. Without a doubt the best researched and written history book I have ever read (but for fiction it’s the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)
Favourite Historical Film
Favourite Historical argument to get into a debate with
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is not an accurate or respectful portrayal of the Holocaust: discuss (actually, don’t bother because you won’t win, I will take. You. Down.)