Barbara Kyle, author of “The Queen’s Lady”, “The King’s Daughter”, The Queen’s Captive”, and “The Queen’s Gamble” 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?
Elizabeth I of England. As long as I had her shrewd brain, not mine.
2. What year in history would you have liked to live in?
1558-1559 for Elizabeth I’s accession to the throne and her coronation. Then I could get the details exactly right for writing about her in my second life as an author.
3. You’re having a dinner party and you can invite 5 people from history, who would they be?
Elizabeth I of England. Thomas Jefferson. Captain Bligh of the Bounty. Karl Marx. Franklin D. Roosevelt. But I would not put out the fine china, knowing it would fly.
4. What castle from the past or present would you have like to live in?
The Tower of London – in its royal apartments, not its prison. So many vital moments of drama in English history, high and low, happened within the Tower’s walls.
5. Two fellow historical fiction authors you’d like to go on a history themed tour of the world with?
Herman Wouk and, if we’re allowed a dead author, James Clavell.
6. Who was more dashing and interesting, King Henry VIII of England or King Louis XIV of France?
I know little about Louis XIV, but quite a lot about Henry VIII, whom I find not the least bit dashing but extremely interesting, so I’ll go with Henry.
7. Which of the six wives of King Henry VIII is your favorite?
The one who outlived him: Catherine Parr.
8. English monarchy or French monarchy?
English for their government (since they tolerated, albeit kicking and screaming, a partnership with democracy), but French for their food.
9. What three novels could you read over and over?
Herman Wouk’s “The Winds of War”; James Clavell’s “Shogun”; A.S. Byatt’s “Possession”
10. Tea or coffee when writing?
Tea. Gallons of the stuff.
Barbara Kyle’s official website: