In addition to the Lucy Worsley & Helen Castor documentary, the BBC is running a series of (very) short (5 minute) history shows to accompany each episode of Versailles. Inside Versailles is presented by Professor Kate Williams and Greg Jenner and seeks to throw some actual historical light on whatever nonsense the latest episode of the drama has served up. The first episode, which is about Louis XIV’s mistresses, is a bit breathless. However, episode 2 features my friend Kit Heyam talking about Philippe, gender and sexuality.
Given that Kit talks about being trans in his Twitter bio, I don’t think I need to worry about outing him. I am fairly confident in saying that this is the first time that a trans historian has been allowed to talk about gender non-conformity in history on British TV. That’s an amazing thing. Needless to say, Kit does a far better job than Lucy Worsley in addressing the issue of Philippe’s proclivities.
Shame you didn’t get a chance to talk about de Choisy, Kit. But then I rather expect what you did say was cut massively. Well done on not giving the producer anything horrible to use.
By the way, if anyone is interested in some of the historical arguments surrounding historical interpretation of past identities there is an excellent overview today on the Notches blog.