I read with interest your female historians’ panel discussion. Even as a man, I think I can understand most of their concerns and comments. I am not sure whether I am suffering from reverse sexism, as the majority of my most enjoyable history experiences are thanks to female historians and presenters.
Whether they have more empathy with their subject or have to be more clued-up than male colleagues, I don’t know, but watching Janina Ramirez enthusing about the remarkable Julian of Norwich, on screen and at the BBC History Magazine event at Winchester, was infectious. I’ve also been fortunate to see the brilliant Helen Castor talk engagingly about Joan of Arc.
I love anything Roman with Mary Beard and Egyptian with Joann Fletcher. Joann’s style, with her ubiquitous umbrella and genuine amazement when she sees something new, is great. I do find some of the grey-suited male presenters mentioned in the article a bit pompous. Although undoubtedly knowledgeable about the subject, they generally don’t engage me as much. There are always exceptions such as Michael Wood and the excellent Alastair Sooke.
I recently enjoyed a very engaging talk on the politics of the Roman conquest of Britain by British Museum curator Julia Farley. She was excellent and deserves a wider audience (hint BBC Four!). Finally, don’t get me started on my real favourite, the wonderful Lucy Worsley! Anthony Pike, London