If people really want to know and learn from history, why do they want bad history? Why don’t they want good history? Wouldn’t you rather know the truth, rather than the legend?
The first Elizabeth film was an absolute travesty historically. It really was sloppy. Things like ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ and ‘The Tudors,’ people’s perception is distorted because of these. It matters to me as a historian, because I spend my life trying to get it right.
It gives me a huge buzz when people say they’ve enjoyed my books, because this grew out of a hobby, and it’s an absolute passion, and it’s lovely when I get feedback.
‘Britain’s Royal Families’ became my first published book, in 1989, from The Bodley Head, and the rest of the story is – dare I say it? – history!
At school, up to the age of sixteen, I found history boring, for we were studying the Industrial Revolution, which was all about Acts, Trade Unions and the factory system, and I wanted to know about people, because it is people who make history.