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LUCY WORSLEY INVESTIGATES

Lucy with a Black Death skeleton at the Museum of London, in a scene from LUCY WORSLEY INVESTIGATES.
Credit: Courtesy of Tom Hayward © BBC Studios 2021
Lucy with a Black Death skeleton at the Museum of London, in a scene from LUCY WORSLEY INVESTIGATES.

Premieres Sundays, May 15 and 22, 2022 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV / On demand with PBS Video App

Who killed the princes in the Tower of London in 1483? What actually caused the Black Death? Why did a witch hunt craze sweep through 16th century Britain and America? And was King George III really mad? These are some of the most enduring and perplexing questions that have baffled academics and fascinated history buffs for years. Now the popular British historian Lucy Worsley turns sleuth to reexamine these infamous mysteries.

LUCY WORSLEY INVESTIGATES: Preview

In each episode, Lucy mounts a thorough investigation into a single event using historical and contemporary evidence and a range of experts to completely reframe the past. Lucy also reveals how contemporary attitudes towards children, gender politics, class and mental health helped obscure the truth of these cases.

LUCY WORSLEY INVESTIGATES uncovers new victors and victims, challenges our perceptions and provides fresh answers to each renowned mystery.

Lucy stands in a room among tombs and urns at Westminster Abbey.
Courtesy of Mike Robinson © BBC Studios 2021
Lucy stands in a room among tombs and urns at Westminster Abbey.

“I'm thrilled to be revisiting some of the big-hitting stories from history that just keep sucking us in,” says Lucy Worsley. “And like everyone who works at the Tower of London, I just can't wait to share the next twist in the tale of what we think we know about the 'murder' of the Bloody Tower's 'Little Princes.’ I really love the fact that this isn't just a series about the past. It's also about what the past means today: an investigation of our own ideas about childhood, feminism, pandemics and mental health.”

Lucy Visits St. Paul's Cross

EPISODE GUIDE:

Episode 1 “Princes in the Tower” premieres Sunday, May 15 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV - Lucy tackles one of history’s greatest unsolved crimes — the supposed murder of two young princes in the Tower of London. Was it their power-hungry Uncle Richard who had Edward and Richard killed? Their mysterious disappearance in 1483 and a surprising lack of historical evidence have led to centuries of speculation. If the boys weren’t murdered at the behest of Richard III, who else might have benefitted from their death? Or were they not killed at all, but simply banished? Lucy delves into the period of their demise — the cutthroat era of the War of the Roses — and uncovers a fascinating chain of events leading up to the princes’ disappearance. After conferring with an array of historians who have spent decades trying to crack the case, Lucy ultimately makes up her mind about Richard’s guilt and reveals new insight about the life of a royal child in Medieval England.

Thomas Moore's Account of the Murder

Episode 2 “Madness of King George” premieres Sunday, May 22 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV - Lucy delves into the madness of King George to ask what we can learn about how attitudes toward mental health were affected by Britain having a so-called ‘mad’ monarch. Lucy examines recently released royal papers and explores the king’s profoundly tragic personal trauma: the death of two of his young children. She also explores the enormous political pressures on George as ruler at a time of political upheaval.

King George III Grants New Rights to Catholics

Revolution was brewing in France; an emperor had been murdered in Russia and Britain was facing the imminent loss of the American colonies after nearly two centuries of British rule. Speaking with leading experts in psychiatry, it becomes clear to Lucy that all of these enormous stresses led to his bouts of mental illness, which would now have been diagnosed as bipolar disorder. She also investigates how an attempt on his life by a mentally ill woman named Margaret Nicholson affected the King and eventually led to a change in the understanding and treatment of mental illness.

Robert Greville's Diary Reveals Secrets About King George

Watch On Your Schedule:

LUCY WORSLEY INVESTIGATES premieres on Sunday, May 15 with “Princes in the Tower,” followed by “Madness of King George” on Sunday, May 22. Both episodes are scheduled 8-9 p.m. on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video app.

Two additional episodes will premiere in Fall 2022!

Lucy stands at the Nether Keith Chapel ruins in East Lothian.
Courtesy of Mike Robinson/screengrab © BBC Studios 2021
Lucy stands at the Nether Keith Chapel ruins in East Lothian.

Credits:

LUCY WORSLEY INVESTIGATES is a series for BBC TWO and PBS produced by BBC Studios’ The Documentary Unit. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller BBC TWO. The Commissioning Editor is Simon Young and the Executive Producer is Julia Harrington. Bill Gardner is Executive in Charge for PBS.