Sunday, 21 July 2013

Horrible Histories

I just wanted to say how much I've been enjoying the Horrible Histories series! It's absolutely incredible. I used to read the books by Terry Deary when I was a child - the Rotten Romans, the Terrible Tudors etc - but it's only been in the last few years it has been successfully adapted to the small screen. I've been watching the latest series and I'm hooked, mainly because I learn so much in each episode. In half an hour, kids can learn about the Roman emperors, the Cold War, Brunel or Oliver Cromwell. Last week in ten short minutes, I learned that Queen Victoria was afraid of bishops and pirates in the c18th used to race captured monks on their ships. 

I listened to an interview with the historical researchers on the show - yes, they look for the obscure, the amusing, the violence ,but they also highlight some of the lesser known figures from history and turn this into an amusing and educational sketch. This morning, I watched a skit about Mary Anning, a woman from Dorset who collected fossils in the early nineteenth century. She made several discoveries but was unfortunately barred from the Geological Society of London because of her gender. In 2010, she was recognised as one of the top ten female pioneers of science. A fascinating woman, and I learned this from a kids programme. The great thing about Horrible Histories is that it appeals to people of all ages, anyone can learn something from it and I will continue to champion it even after it's forced off the air!

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