An Intimate History of Your Home - Lucy Worsley

Historian Article

By Lucy Worsley, published 16th September 2011

‘You've gone over to The Dark Side'.

These were the words of a well-respected historian to whom I'd been enthusing about the pleasures and perils of Dressing Up.

During 2009-10 I spent several months in historic costume, recreating the habits and rituals of domestic life in the past. It was a rather unusual means of carrying out historical research but I did it because I was writing a book, If Walls Could Talk: an intimate history of the home, and working on a TV series of the same title (shown earlier this year on BBC4).

Many serious historians look down on the people who are best known for Dressing Up and Trying Things Out. Historical re-enactors, who do it for fun at weekends, have an obsession which often seems to professionals to be overly romantic, unscientific, and far too frivolous to be taken seriously...

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