10 Minutes With… Suzannah Lipscomb

10 Minutes With… Suzannah Lipscomb

The historian on King George and OD’ing on Game of Thrones, by Hannah Nathanson in The Daily Mail, 2 August 2013.

What do you think of the royal baby’s name?

It’s shot through with ideas about duty, service and family loyalty. The name ‘George’ stems from the Greek word for ‘farmer’ so it’s also classless, which is quite interesting.

Who’s your favourite King George?

George V. I’m going to anger all my 18th-century friends but many of the Hanoverian Georges were quite dull. By the 20th century, the Georges were really something.

How did you cope with the anticipation?

I was struck by the fact that none of us were terrified that Kate was going to die. In any previous age that would have been the case.

How would London have celebrated in the 16th century?

With gunfire and bonfires across the city, and the fountains in Trafalgar Square would have flowed with wine.

What’s the funniest thing you’ve read about yourself?

For a while, when you Googled my name, one of the options that came up was ‘Suzannah Lipscomb feet’. I have no idea why. I’ve never had a foot fetish.

Who do you want to apologise to?

My history teacher, Mr Lane. I once wrote an essay and on the second page I tailed off mid-sentence and handed it in unfinished. He thought he’d lost the rest because I was such a good girl. I still feel ashamed.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

OD’ing on Game of Thrones. I’ve so far managed five hours uninterrupted.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

Michelle Pfeiffer would be a flattering choice.

What’s been your biggest sartorial error?

After travelling in India in my gap year I spent many years in purdah, wearing skirts on top of trousers. It was only when I went to live in France to study French history for my doctorate that I discovered short skirts.

What’s your life philosophy?

Marianne Nelson’s ‘Your playing small does not serve the world’, quoted by Nelson Mandela in his 1994 speech.

What’s your karaoke song?

‘Avenues and Alleyways’ by Tony Christie, a real crooner song. It’s tremendous fun with the right people.

What keeps you up in the middle of the night?

I sleep like a proverbial baby: nothing keeps me from sleeping apart from something sexual.