‘The world never had this many sexpots’: Top UK historian sets up TV company to counter misleading portrayals of women
One of Britain’s leading historians has helped to set up a TV company as part of an attempt to “write women back into history” and counter the “super-sexualised” portrayal of heroines of the past.
Bettany Hughes says too many important women have been portrayed as “sexpots” and their real achievements and talents have often been overlooked.
She cites examples including Queen Boudicca — who was a great strategist possessing more than just “nice hair” — and Roman empress Theodora, an erotic dancer who became the world’s most powerful woman in the sixth century and helped to build one of the greatest churches in the world, the Hagia Sophia, in what is now Istanbul.
Hughes and three colleagues have set up a production company, Sandstone Global, to make films that will help redress the balance.
The historian, who has presented TV programmes and written books on Helen of Troy, Istanbul and philosopher Socrates, was speaking ahead of her appearance in two new series.
Eight Days That Made Rome, starting on Channel 5 on Friday, recounts eight key events in Roman history. Venus Uncovered on BBC4 next month tells the story of the goddess Venus — and will be followed by similar films next year on Bacchus and Mars.