Lucy Worsley’s new effort on TV is British History’s Biggest Fibs; apparently she sets out to debunk famous historical myths.
A few months ago I emailed her to point out that her account of how William Corder came to shoot Maria Martin in the Red Barn was incorrect. Both in her TV series, and in the spin-off book, she said that Corder’s hand, holding the pistol, wavered because he was nervous, and the gun went off by accident. In fact Corder never ever claimed that. He said that he and Maria were struggling in the barn, he drew the pistol and shot her. Worsley never replied to my email.
I should not be surprised I suppose. In these ‘post truth’ times, even the president of the USA can make ‘alternative truth’ claims, repeatedly, regarding the size of his inaugural audience, claims that were quite clearly refuted by countless pictures of the event. So why should I get excited about a TV presenter, purporting to be a serious historian, blatantly misreporting a well-documented event that happened nearly 200 years ago?
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs