Elizabeth Ashworth, author of “The de Lacy Inheritance”, “An Honourable Estate”, and “The Lady of Haigh” answers 10 questions about her favorite time period in history, her favorite figures from history, and the age old question of coffee or tea.
1. If you could go back in time and be any figure from history, who would it be?
Well, I don’t fancy a sex change so I’m going to choose a woman. But it would need to be a woman with attitude, so I’m going to say Boudicca who let a revolt of the native Britons against Roman invaders.
2. What year in history would you have liked to live in?
I think I would want to avoid any years where there was flood, famine or plague! I would like to be able to witness some important event. Perhaps the restoration of Charles II in 1660. After all that Puritan misery it must have been a good time to party!
3. You’re having a dinner party and you can invite 5 people from history, who would they be?
My first guest would have to be Richard III and I’d also have William Shakespeare along to explain why he wrote that play about him and didn’t portray him in a very flattering light! I’d also ask Alicia de Lacy because I felt very close to her when I was researching and writing her history and we could chat whilst Richard and William argued with another. I’d also ask Sir William and Lady Mabel Bradshaigh. They lived through the Great Famine if 1315 to 1317 and I’m sure they’d appreciate a good meal.
4. What castle from the past or present would you like to live in?
Middleham Castle in Yorkshire. I love the village and the wild countryside and I’ve stayed there in a cottage. But the castle (as long it was in good repair) would be an amazing place to live.
5. Two fellow historical fiction authors you’d like to go on a history themed tour of the world with?
Elizabeth Chadwick and Hilary Mantel. I think we’d have fun.
6. Who was more dashing and interesting, King Henry VIII of England or King Louis XIV of France?
I think Henry – but only when he was young and fit, and before that blow he took to the head when jousting that knocked him stupid.
7. Which of the six wives of King Henry VIII is your favorite?
Anne of Cleves, because she was clever enough not to sleep with Henry and to get lots of money from him as a divorce settlement.
8. English monarchy or French monarchy?
English – they mostly managed to keep their heads.
9. What three novels could you read over and over?
I don’t re-read that often. There are so many unread stories vying for my attention.
10. Tea or coffee when writing?
Tea, then coffee, then back to tea again possibly with a diet coke thrown in for good measure.
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