My favourite historical places: Dr Kate Williams

As part of our weekly series, social historian and royal expert Dr Kate Williams picks out her favourite historical places to visit

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Q: What is your favourite historical place in Britain?

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A: It’s hard to choose, but one of the most striking places is Victory, now undergoing a £16m refit. It’s almost impossible to understand the lives of Nelson and his sailors until you’ve been on there – and seen how cramped their quarters were.

Q: What is your favourite historical place overseas?

A: I love Josephine Bonaparte’s house, Malmaison, just outside Paris. Josephine created an incredible garden, full of plants from Napoleon’s conquered realms, and a menagerie: black swans from Australia, a flock of merino sheep from the king of Spain, and her own personal Orangutan, who delighted the guests by eating turnips at the table.

Q: Where would you most like to visit?

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A: After university, I promised myself I would do two things: write a book, and travel to South America. The second I haven’t managed yet, but I’m planning. I loved the British Museum exhibition on Colombia – I’ll get there one day!