Friday, July 26, 2013

Documentary on Women in the 17th Century

The BBC churns out high-quality documentaries on a regular basis. I like to learn about history, but I also like shows concerning wildlife or any kind of science. I like best those shows that have a strong narrator, who may be seen or may be off-camera. Recently, I watched a documentary about housewives and harlots in 17th century England. I felt this was a good topic, because shows seldom touch upon women in history, because most leaders, scientists, generals, etc. were men. The narrator was Dr. Lucy Worsley, apparently some sort of academic who speaks in a compelling way, one notices right away. She is female in a male-dominated profession, rather tomboyish, and my partner noticed that she speaks with a lisp, most unusual in television, although to me it seemed she had a German accent. When I first saw her, I thought she was ill-looking, but the more one watches her speak, the better she wears. She conveys a zest for the subject and an engaging manner of speaking, lisp or not. One admits her learning and poise, and then her beauty. Her material is well-written, although I noticed that she does tend to harp upon the same narrow topics, when a broader view might have been more appropriate. I felt like some material was being repeated, and wish that the show had been heavier on facts and lighter on interpretation, leaving interpretation to the audience, in the style of Werner Herzog.

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