I wrote here that I enjoyed Lucy Worsley’s TV programmes (and admired her clothes). Yesterday evening’s offering, A Very British Murder was a huge disappointment. There was about fifteen minutes’ worth of factual information here, padded out to an hour by: Lucy dressed up as Maria Marten and ‘acting’ in the famous melodrama; Lucy singing about William Roper (Maria’s murderer); Lucy dressed up as the notorious murderess Mrs Manning and then playing all the courtroom rôles. It was a complete waste of time.
There’s another issue here. When I read on The Lucy Worsley Blog that ‘It’s publication day for A Very British Murder', I thought, hang on, hasn’t Judith Flanders got a book out on the very same subject? Indeed she has, The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime. As the credits appeared at the end of A Very British Murder, I spotted ‘Consultant Judith Flanders’. Guess whose book will sell more copies? The BBC4 programme makers, thinking they’re on to a good thing, are now using Lucy Worsley not as an historian, but as a presenter. I wonder she wastes her time on such tosh.
My advice: read George Orwell's essay, The Decline of the English Murder.