Lucy Worsley will be back on PBS soon with another informative and entertaining documentary series: Lucy Worsley Investigates.
One of Britain’s most popular documentary program presenters and historical nonfiction authors, Lucy Worsley (12 Days of Tudor Christmas, The Art of the English Murder), the Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces in the UK, will be returning to US telly soon with her latest docuseries, Lucy Worsley Investigates.
Consisting of four episodes, the program delves into questions that continue to baffle academics and fascinate history buffs, including: Who killed the princes in the Tower of London in 1483? What actually caused the Black Death? Why did a witch hunt craze sweep through 16th century Britain and America? And was King George III really mad?
In each episode, Lucy Worsley turns sleuth to reexamine these infamous mysteries, mounting a thorough investigation into a single event using historical and contemporary evidence and a range of experts to completely reframe the past. She also reveals how contemporary attitudes towards children, gender politics, class, and mental health helped obscure the truth of these cases — ultimately uncovering new victors and victims, challenging our perceptions, and providing fresh answers to each renowned mystery.
Said Lucy Worsley:
“I’m thrilled to be revisiting some of the big-hitting stories from history that just keep sucking us in. And like everyone who works at the Tower of London, I just can’t wait to share the next twist in the tale of what we think we know about the ‘murder’ of the Bloody Tower’s ‘Little Princes.’ I really love the fact that this isn’t just a series about the past. It’s also about what the past means today: an investigation of our own ideas about childhood, feminism, pandemics and mental health.”
The series will be shown in the US two parts, with two episodes premiering this spring, and the remaining two this fall. Episodes will air on linear TV on PBS, and stream simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and via the in PBS Video app.
Details about the first two episodes are below.
“Princes in the Tower” — Sunday, May 15, 8 PM ET (check your local listings)
In the series opener, Lucy tackles one of history’s greatest unsolved crimes: the supposed murder of two young princes in the Tower of London. Was it their power-hungry Uncle Richard who had Edward and Richard killed? Their mysterious disappearance in 1483 and a surprising lack of historical evidence have led to centuries of speculation. If the boys weren’t murdered at the behest of Richard III, who else might have benefited from their death? Or were they not killed at all, but simply banished?
Lucy delves into the period of their demise — the cutthroat era of the War of the Roses — and uncovers a fascinating chain of events leading up to the princes’ disappearance. After conferring with an array of historians who have spent decades trying to crack the case, Lucy ultimately makes up her mind about Richard’s guilt and reveals new insight about the life of a royal child in Medieval England.
“Madness of King George” Sunday, May 22, 8 PM ET (check your local listings)
This episode sees Lucy delving into the madness of King George to ask what we can learn about how attitudes toward mental health were affected by Britain having a so-called ‘mad’ monarch. She examines recently-released royal papers and explores the king’s profoundly tragic personal trauma: the death of two of his young children. Lucy also explores the enormous political pressures on George as ruler at a time of political upheaval. Revolution was brewing in France, an emperor had been murdered in Russia, and Britain was facing the imminent loss of the American colonies after nearly two centuries of British rule.
Speaking with leading experts in psychiatry, it becomes clear to Lucy that all of these enormous stresses led to the King’s bouts of mental illness, which would now have been diagnosed as bipolar disorder. She also investigates how an attempt on his life by a mentally-ill woman named Margaret Nicholson affected George and eventually led to a change in the understanding and treatment of mental illness.
A production of BBC Studios’ The Documentary Unit for BBC TWI and PBS, Lucy Worsley Investigates was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller BBC TWO, with Simon Young as the Commissioning Editor and Julia Harrington the Executive Producer. Bill Gardner is Executive in Charge for PBS.
Stay tuned for updates about the remaining two episodes of Lucy Worsley Investigates coming this fall.
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