Suzannah Lipscomb

Despite progress since the 1970s, female historians are still treated unfairly both inside and outside the academy. Things must change, says Suzannah Lipscomb.

Archives are one thing, the public another and connecting the two is one of a historian’s hardest challenges, as Suzannah Lipscomb knows from experience.

Practical details from historical sources may convince us that historical fiction is fact, but, warns Suzannah Lipscomb, such novels are fraught with danger for one in search of the past.  

Was Henry VIII a good-natured buffoon or an egotistical tyrant? Your answer is likely to depend on which cinematic portrayal you have seen most recently.

The public expects historians to deliver authoritative accounts of the past, yet different conclusions can be drawn from the same sources.

There should be no contradiction in constructing a history curriculum that incorporates both Britain’s ‘national memory’ and its many diversities, argues Suzannah Lipscomb.  

Historians try to produce as total a view of the past as possible. Yet does our concern with facts isolate us from how material culture influenced lived experience, asks Suzannah Lipscomb?

High-minded allegations of prurience should not stop historians from examining the intimate lives of people in the past.

While it rightly condemns ISIS’ brutal destruction of the Middle East’s rich architectural heritage, is the West neglecting its own, more subtle cultural vandalism?

The increasing commercialisation of sites known for their gruesome and violent history raises troubling questions. But to ignore such events would be worse, argues Suzannah Lipscomb.