Louisa Treger, author of “The Lodger” and “The Care of Strangers” 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?
Eve from the Old Testament. I’d make different decisions…
2. What year in history would you have liked to live in?
I’d like to live in the 1960s because it was a time when boundaries were relaxed and freedom increased. It was an optimistic and peaceful era, and I love the hair and clothes!!
3. You’re having a dinner party and you can invite 5 people from history, who would they be?
Queen Elizabeth I, H.G. Wells, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mahatma Gandhi, Louis Armstrong. I’d like Louis Armstrong to play a concert after dinner!
4. What castle from the past or present would you like to live in?
Balmoral Castle, which was described by Queen Victoria as “my dear paradise in the Highlands.” It’s set amongst magnificent scenery and steeped in history, yet it’s still used by the Royal Family, so it’s comfortable and modern.
5. Two fellow historical fiction authors you’d like to go on a history themed tour of the world with?
Penelope Lively and Hilary Mantel.
6. Who was more dashing and interesting, King Henry VIII of England or King Louis XIV of France?
King Henry VIII was dashing when he was young, but he ran to fat and turned out to be a terrible misogynist. So I’ll go for the more refined Louisa XIV, the ‘Sun King’ who built Versailles and ruled France when it was the dominant power on the continent.
7. Which of the six wives of King Henry VIII is your favorite?
Anne Boleyn – she was the most magnetic and compelling.
8. English monarchy or French monarchy?
The English monarchy, because it stood the test of time (and I am English, so I’m probably biased…)
9. What three novels could you read over and over?
I could give you a list of ten! But if I must restrict myself to three, I would probably choose “Villette” by Charlotte Bronte, “Fugitive Pieces” by Ann Michaels, and “The Hours” by Michael Cunningham.
10. Tea or coffee when writing?
Strong coffee, and lots of it…
Louisa Treger’s official website: