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History in Films and on Television History in Films and on TV - Documentary Films, Historical Dramas, and history programs on PBS and the History Channel


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Old December 23rd, 2016, 03:26 AM   #21

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Old December 23rd, 2016, 02:29 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
Your criticism of David Starkey seems more motivated by the your dislike or disagrrment with the persons he has a regard for than his skill as a historian.

Bede is only one of 50 or so persons in history named a Doctor of the Church, an honor granted to no one of the Irish monks you laud. And his famous "Ecclesiastical History of the English People" is a much better and more widely know work than those previous Irish monks you refer to, whose historical works are only one step up from legend. His "On Reckoning of Time" on how to calculate Easter, mention of a spherical earth and how it explained the change in the length of day, was a very popular work in the middle ages and required reading in the middle ages. In works geared toward the general public, you can't always cover everything, and it is not fair to criticize a historian for concentrating on more famous and influential persons like Bede at the expense of persons of lesser importance.



I like Michael Woods too. One tv historian I liked was James Burke in his "Connections" and "The Day the Universe Changed". I like how he showed how one discovery or invention led to another. That showing how things were connected historically is something you don't see in most historical works.
Starkey is Marmite; you either love him or hate him. I don't usually like arrogant and pompous people, but for some reason I do like him. Maybe because he has an interest in a period of history I do, maybe because we agree on many conclusions from that period (eg that Richard iii murdered the Princes, Henry viii as a young man was one if the greatest princes in christendom etc). History -like any subject - can be dull when presented by the wrong person. With Starkey it is never dull.
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Old December 24th, 2016, 12:11 AM   #23
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I think you are missing the very best - AJP Taylor.

No props, no grand vistas - just the "old" man himself, lecturing.

Here is a sample:

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Old December 30th, 2016, 01:50 PM   #24
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If we regard someone as a 'good historian' or a 'bad historian', surely we should base that on their historical approach. In other words, it's more about whether or not the historian is accurate and is accurately portraying history. Rather than whether or not we like them as a person.

Of course, when there is a TV documentary, likability of the historian becomes more important, as they need to keep people gripped. And, you can't do that with someone who is boring.

I can understand what you are saying about David Starkey. But, personally I think Starkey is a good historian (most of the time). Regardless of his politics.

But, I think who we all like as dislike as historians will probably depend on our personalities.

J
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Old December 30th, 2016, 01:53 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by paranoid marvin View Post
Starkey is Marmite; you either love him or hate him. I don't usually like arrogant and pompous people, but for some reason I do like him. Maybe because he has an interest in a period of history I do, maybe because we agree on many conclusions from that period (eg that Richard iii murdered the Princes, Henry viii as a young man was one if the greatest princes in christendom etc). History -like any subject - can be dull when presented by the wrong person. With Starkey it is never dull.
I agree with you. I like Strakey's documentaries because he covers the history I like. Tudor history. Monarch history etc
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Old December 30th, 2016, 01:55 PM   #26

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Ive always like Michael Wood. And on UK TV, Tony Robinson is good.

Starkey is too pretentious, he talks like a professor. Michael Wood is obviously articulate but brings things to a common person's level.
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Old December 30th, 2016, 01:56 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by paranoid marvin View Post
Starkey is Marmite; you either love him or hate him. I don't usually like arrogant and pompous people, but for some reason I do like him. Maybe because he has an interest in a period of history I do, maybe because we agree on many conclusions from that period (eg that Richard iii murdered the Princes, Henry viii as a young man was one if the greatest princes in christendom etc). History -like any subject - can be dull when presented by the wrong person. With Starkey it is never dull.
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This is kind of difficult, because doing good scholarship/writing is a solitary painstaking task and interesting presentation is a social task that benefits from good pacing. Most documentaries have the writer-producer standing awkwardly in front of a castle or in a public venue trying to rouse enthusiasm. Some of my favorite shows had a writer presenter that didn't do many others. I loved Robert Bartlett's medieval series (Inside the Medieval Mind, The Normans, The Plantagenets), but not because of his exciting presentation. That said --

David Starkey's OK. He's an unabashed royalist. Aren't all royalists pompous toadies? But he seems fair. He's enthusiastic about the early Henry VIII, but presents Henry after about 1536 as a brutal tyrant, a horrible ruler and person. And Starkey's topics are interesting. I like the Music and Monarchy series.

I like social history a lot, so I'm fond of Lucy Worsley. The picture of her in my mind is her climbing into a Tudor bed to sleep like a middle class woman of the 16th century.

I don't know that I have any "worst" presenters, probably because I stop watching if I'm really annoyed.
It's interesting that we see Henry VIII as a 'great' monarch, but Mary I as 'Bloody Mary,' when Henry is thought to have been more bloodthirsty. It's like with Queen Victoria. We call her a 'great' monarch, yet her reign was plagued by notoriety.
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Old January 4th, 2017, 07:08 AM   #28

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Has anyone seen Dr. Aryeh Nusbacher on the 2016 TV series Time Commanders? He had a sex change and is now a woman! Her name is now Lynette Nusbacher.

Aside from his personal life, I found him a pretty entertaining presenter (thinking back to when the original series of the show was on about 10 years ago). I remember him aggressively throwing blocks across the table to represent Roman soldiers crashing into the Carthaginian lines.

Lynette seems somewhat more restrained in her style.

Last edited by SufiMystic; January 4th, 2017 at 07:26 AM.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 08:54 AM   #29

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Originally Posted by SufiMystic View Post
Has anyone seen Dr. Aryeh Nusbacher on the 2016 TV series Time Commanders? He had a sex change and is now a woman! Her name is now Lynette Nusbacher.

Aside from his personal life, I found him a pretty entertaining presenter (thinking back to when the original series of the show was on about 10 years ago). I remember him aggressively throwing blocks across the table to represent Roman soldiers crashing into the Carthaginian lines.

Lynette seems somewhat more restrained in her style.
Lynette is wonderful, I love the snark!

Mind you, my list of 'Best' historians is basically 'Anyone who ain't Starkey' so... ya know, easily pleased?
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Old January 5th, 2017, 11:40 AM   #30

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Oh how, how to choose between Susannah Lipscomb, Kate Williams and Mary Beard?


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