Maureen Lang, author of "Bees in the Butterfly Garden", "Springtime of the Spirit", "Whisper on the Wind", "My Sister Dilly", "On Sparrow Hill", "The Oak Leaves", "Remember Me", "Pieces of Silver", "Pearl Girls", and "A Novel Idea" 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?
It’s hard to pick just one! I know I’d stay a woman, because even though history is largely written by men (so we know more of their stories) I’m happy as a woman. Names that come first to mind: Jane Austen, of course, because she was a wonderful writer so many of us admire. Marie Curie because I’m married to a physics teacher and he’s taught me to appreciate science. Eleanor of Aquitaine – mainly because I’m intrigued by legends of her, many of which may or may not even be true.
All too often women who have made a mark on history have done so along with great challenges in their life. There aren’t many to choose from who offer a life that’s struggle-free—which reminds me that struggles are not only universal, they’re timeless.
2. What year in history would you have liked to live in?
I’ve enjoyed researching so many eras that this is hard to choose, too. But when I think about this—really think about it—I realize it’s the idea of any historical era that appeals to me most. The fashion of the Edwardian period; the romantic notions of the Victorian age; the drama of any war period. But I’m slightly germaphobic, not to mention that I really enjoy the convenience of a microwave, dishwasher, indoor heating/cooling and plumbing, etc., so I know deep down I’m far too much a wimp to live in any other age but this one. I could only survive in another if I had no memory of this one!
3. You're having a dinner party and you can invite 5 people from history, who would they be?
George and Martha Washington
Edith Cavell (a nurse shot by the Germans in WW1 for helping Allied soldiers)
4. What castle from the past or present would you like to live in?
Definitely Schloss Neuschwanstein! It’s the inspiration behind Cinderella’s Castle in Disneyland. With its perfect setting in Bavaria, surrounded by Alpine foothills lush with pine trees, it’s impossible not to see it’s the perfect picture of a castle! (Even though the interior was never completed to King Ludwig’s direction for lack of funds.)
5. Two fellow historical fiction authors you'd like to go on a history themed tour of the world with?
Thomas Hardy because I love the themes of his novels – oh, did you mean authors who are alive today? LOL. Let’s see, I admire so many! Siri Mitchell is a good friend of mine, so she would be a natural choice. And Jill Eileen Smith, or Judith Miller would be great fun, too! So can I take along three? Oh, wait! Allie Pleiter is also a good friend, can I take four? Wait a minute, Ruth Axtell and Beth White are fun too! Oh, my, I can hardly stop now . . .
6. Who was more dashing and interesting, King Henry VIII of England or King Louis XIV of France?
Personally I’m glad I wasn’t acquainted with either one of them, mainly because they had the whole “king” persona so down pat. How must it be to live with someone who thinks they’re a king when they ARE one? Anyone who is in a position of such power would inevitably be hard to live with, I think . . .
However, since you asked which one was more dashing and interesting, I choose King Louis, who may not have been a much better husband to his wife but at least he didn’t arrange for her demise. And he had such a long reign . . .
7. Which of the six wives of King Henry VIII is your favorite?
Anne of a thousand days, mainly because I recall a movie of that name with Genevieve Bujold portraying Anne which I really enjoyed!
8. English monarchy or French monarchy?
English! Although both have enough tragedy, intrigue and bloodshed attached to make research of either certainly interesting.
9. What three novels could you read over and over?
"Peace Like a River" by Leif Enger (stellar writing!)
"Martin Eden" by Jack London (a must for any writer!)
Anything by Wendell Berry, because of his realistic character portrayals
10. Tea or coffee when writing?
Chai Tea Latte! Oregon brand, which I buy at Target in the tea department, and keep on hand to enjoy every single morning.
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