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Suzannah Lipscomb

Woke: Mary Queen of Scots, early 17th century.

We like historical films to be factually accurate, but we also like them to reflect our sensibilities.

Impartial reviewer: Woman Reading, by Lovis Corinth, 1888.

How does the reader decide if a history book is worth their time?

Paradise lost: Native Americans in the Yosemite Valley, California, c.1870.

Blessed with beauty and wealth, California fails to come to terms with its past.

How will modern women respond to the realities of a 16th-century life?

Women’s realm: a birthing room, Dutch, 17th century.

The propagation of humanity has been a bloody struggle for women.

Time stands still: haymaking in July, from the Book of Hours, France, 1510-25.

Time in the early modern world lacked precision, but it did have humanity.

Sexual exploitation by powerful men has a long history. Will it ever end?

In a diverse field, expertise should remain at the heart of history on television.

It’s not you, it’s me: The Lover’s Tiff, Paolo Mei, 1872. © Bridgeman Image

The past can seem like a timeline of horrors. But might it also remind us of our own failings – and help to put them right?

Both history and historical fiction depend on a combination of imagination and rigorous research. The difference is found in the balance of these ingredients.