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HISTORIANS are condemning the comments of Tudor specialist David Starkey, who reportedly blamed the downturn in his career on his good looks.
Mr Starkey claimed that only “old, ugly women” can get on television, naming English classicist Mary Beard.
It’s not the first time Mr Starkey has taken a swipe at a female historian. In 2009, he had a go at fellow Tudor expert Dr Lucy Worsley, claiming she had reduced Henry VIII’s life to a soap opera by focusing on his wives.
The London Socialist Historians Group (LSHG) has said that the reported comments were unwarranted and that “for too long history has been associated with men in suits.”
As pointed out by the group, this year marked the 50th anniversary of the development of the women’s liberation movement and, with it, feminist history.
LSHG organiser Keith Flett said: “The historical profession and practitioners of history in general have been changing for the better with more diverse perspectives.
“As Dr Starkey reminds us, there are plenty of male historians in suits with traditional views still around though.”
Mr Flett also pointed out that his own limited TV appearance was due to being “a socialist historian in what remains predominantly a conservative area.”
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