Thursday, October 08, 2009

Question from Daniele - Info on Tracy Borman

Hello! I am a long time reader and first time question-asker.

First, thanks for the amazing site, Lara!

My question is this: How trustworthy of a writer is Tracy Borman? Is she an actual historian, or more of a popular history writer a la Alison Weir? I ask because her newest title, Elizabeth's Women, looks interesting, but I don't want to waste my time if she is a "fake" historian and likely to mess up the details. Thanks!


Zoe said...

The historian John Guy was quite scathing about her research in his review of the book.
Apparently she either misread or misunderstood a phrase written by Elizabeth in a letter to Mary (among other such crimes).
I don't know what Borman's background is but I'm keeping an open mind and looking forward to reading it despite Guy's warning.
Historians always argue and snipe at each other, and will always interpret things differently. It's part of the fun.

kb said...

I, too am looking forward to reading this book. Consequently I can not comment on the quality. However, racy Borman is a trained historian. Here's an excerpt from her bio on her web site:

Tracy Borman studied and taught history at the University of Hull and was awarded a PHD in 1997. She went on to a successful career in heritage and has worked for a range of historic properties and national heritage organisations, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, The National Archives and English Heritage. Tracy has recently been appointed Chief Executive of the Heritage Education Trust, which encourages children to visit and learn from historic porperties. She also works part-time as Head of Interpretation for Historic Royal Palaces and has worked on the newly presented Tudor rooms at Hampton Court to mark the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's accession.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, many professional historians make errors, or, much more often, even distort facts intentionally. I have seen outrageous instances of treating otiginal sources that were widely known, and no book reviewer noticed. Instead, the book was widely lauded as the "best and most scholarly biography ever etc.". In this case it was not an incumbent of an academic post, but a trained historian who had worked as research assistant to others. But even professors lie now and then (not difficult to find examples). It is always worthwhile to compare and to use common sense.

Anonymous said...

I can assure you that all the facts you list from Tracy's website are true and not made up becasue I know her. I am reading Elizabeth's Women at present and it's very good - written in an easy style with lots of info that I didn;t previoulsy know about Elizabeth.