Jo Beverley, author of numerous historical romances answers 10 questions about 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
This is a hard one, because I wouldn’t like to actually BE anyone from the past. Things were tough back then! (Okay, I’m a wimp. I prefer to think I’m a realist.)What I’d love to do would be to bring a person from the past to me. In that case I’d pick Jane Austen, because I’d like to know what really made her tick. It’s my opinion that she was inhibited by her family and a desire to do the right thing. Away from all that I believe she’d show new facets and enjoy the adventure.
2. What year in history would you have liked to live in?
See above, but it would be interesting to be an observer in England throughout 1588 to see all the events around the Spanish Armada.
3. You’re having a dinner party and you can invite 5 people from history, who would they be?
Though there are many fascinating men, it would be a regal hen party. Bodicea, Queen Matilda (wife of William the Conqueror), Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II. Wouldn’t that be fascinating?
4. What castle from the past or present would you like to live in?
I wouldn’t like to live in a castle now, but I’d enjoy a visit to Restormel in Cornwall in its 13th century prime. It’s a circular castle with the rooms built against the outer walls and quite intimate in size. Life there wouldn’t follow the pattern of more classic castle design.
5. Two fellow historical fiction authors you’d like to go on a history themed tour of the world with?
Mary Jo Putney, because we have done a bit of traveling together and I know we’d get on. If we’re allowed dead authors, Dorothy Dunnett, one of my favorite authors and a warm adventurous woman who would be lots of fun and take us into unusual places with her extensive knowledge and insatiable curiosity.
6. Who was more dashing and interesting, King Henry VIII of England or King Louis XIV of France?
Oh, Henry VIII, hands down, as his young self. He was intellectually brilliant and a great athlete. His life is quite tragic. They now suspect that a jousting accident did something to his brain, altering his character, but even so all might have been well if Katherine of Aragon had been more fertile. He stuck with her until she passed childbearing age, but because his dynasty was so young he felt he had to have a son to avoid another civil war like the Wars of the Roses. There had never been a successful queen. The only example at that time was Queen Matilda, and that had led to another civil war — the one called the Anarchy.
7. Which of the six wives of King Henry VIII is your favorite?
Anne of Cleaves. She was clever enough to get out of the marriage quickly and seems to have lived a comfortable life with the independence unavailable to unmarried women and wives.
8. English monarchy or French monarchy?
English. Once constrained into a constitutional monarchy by the Civil War it worked pretty well. We all know where the French one led.
9. What three novels could you read over and over?
Dorothy Dunnett’s “Checkmate”. If I can’t have more Dunnett, Georgette Heyer’s “Cotillion” and Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s “Local Custom”.
10. Tea or coffee when writing?
Coffee, as long as it’s good.
Jo Beverley’s official website: