The Role of Historic Fact and Fiction
What can the historical novel do for our understanding of the past that the academic history book cannot? Dr Fiona Watson is writing her first novel which is set in the early eighteenth century and she is finding it a very different proposition to writing for an academic journal. She joins Tom, the author of "John Saturnall's Feast" Lawrence Norfolk and Professor Mark Stoyle from the University of Southampton to discuss the role of historic fact and fiction.
Learning Difficulties at the Tudor Court
Peter Bolt in Redditch is intrigued by a painting of the court of Henry VIII which shows a male and female 'fool' or jester. What was the role of the fool he asks? Helen Castor talks to Simon Callow about the Shakespearian fool and then joins Dr Suzannah Lipscomb at Hampton Court to discuss new evidence that these so-called 'fools' were perhaps people with learning difficulties who benefitted from what we would regard as the inclusive nature of Tudor high society.
In Liverpool a theatre group for people with learning difficulties, Wicked Fish, is addressing a glaring omission in the historic record. With the backing of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Wicked Fish is putting together a project in which people with learning difficulties work on oral histories, video diaries and theatrical performances which will be lodged with the local libraries and museums so that people in the future can see more easily how this community lived in the early 21st Century.