Ten Questions

The other day, I answered ten questions for Kayla of the Pittsburgh Historical Fiction Examiner (to see the questions and my answers, just click here).

Since I thought her questions were rather fun, I’m passing along three of them to you.

1. You’re having a dinner party and you can invite 5 people from history, who would they be?

2. Two historical fiction authors you’d like to go on a history themed tour of the world with?

3. Which of the six wives of King Henry VIII is your favorite?

I wish I could ask all ten– but there’s only so much room in the Comments section! To read the whole interview (and see all ten questions) click here.


  1. Christine on October 11, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Great interview and awesome questions (says the history major)! I’m going to answer the questions in the order easiest to me (in the process, by myself some time to answer the others).

    3. Definitely Catherine Parr. Shrewd enough to push her own agenda without angering Henry.

    1. I’m equally interested in an average person’s experience during my favorite periods as I am in the experiences of a famous person, so…
    a. Titanic steerage passenger
    b. Military nurses during WWII
    c. Child who moved from Britain to the Colonies
    d. Olivia de Havilland – I know she’s still alive, but she was the basis of a law paper I once wrote and I received a letter from her answering questions I had sent about the case and I would love to meet her. Plus her movies are pretty awesome.
    e. Catherine Parr

    2. WWII is probably my favorite period so I would say Pam Jenoff, as her books are set in that time. The second would be Kathryn Stockett (“The Help”). Having grown up in an environment very different from hers, it would be fascinating to see how our backgrounds would affect our view of history and the world.

    But can we meet up with you in London? You’re easily one of the funniest and most brilliant people I’ve ever met. I think we could have a marvelous time!

  2. jeffrey on October 11, 2012 at 11:41 am

    1. Amelia Earhart: What a fascinating personality and it helps that I’ve been immersed in aviation for a half-century.

    St Paul of Damascus: Easily the greatest theological mind in all of antiquity. Do you think he would have a few interesting anecdotes about his life to recount?

    Winston Churchill: Who I consider the greatest man of the 20th century. There was nothing within his grasp that he didn’t excel at. Orator, leader, writer, historian, humorist, warrior, statesman, etc

    Jane Austen: There is such an aura of mystery surrounding the ‘real’ her. I think she was probably a lot more caustic and satirical than many give her credit for. What would she say about my other guests around the dinner table?

    Josef Haydn: Being a classical music fan, I’d love “Papa” Haydn, father of the modern symphony and string quartet. Friend of Mozart and early teacher of Beethoven. The musical wit, life-long creativity, and loveable popularity of this modest genius are legendary.

    2. Although my wife would have to act as chaperone, I would invite YOU along! Having met you briefly, your personality, wit, and brilliance easily fill any sized room. I’d also like to take along Jack Caldwell, the ‘Cajun cheesehead.’ I like both sides of that moniker and think he would be non-stop entertainment.

    3. Anne Boleyn: Probably most for being the mother of Elizabeth I, one of England’s greatest monarchs. She was the most capable and intelligent of Henry’s wives.

  3. Leslie on October 11, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Lauren, The Oracle Glass is truly an amazing book!

    Anne Boleyn hands down, she was the mother of Elizabeth I.

    You and Georgette Heyer with Baedeker of course!

    Jane Austen
    Edith Wharton
    Henry James
    William Shakespeare

  4. Meredith A on October 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Dinner Party…Hmmm
    1) Julia Child to give me advice on what do make for the actual dinner part of the party
    2) Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk because his contribution to the settlement of Canada is fascinating
    3) One of the ‘Filles du Roi’ women who volunteered to start a new life away from France in the Colonies
    4) Shakespeare…whoever he really is
    5) Leonardo Da Vinci so I can get a few pointers on painting…or Walt Disney for his creative genius…or Jane Austen so I can ask her all the questions I have ever wanted to ask about Mr. Darcy….or, or, or…I NEED A BIGGER DINNER TABLE!

    And now I’m too busy thinking about my fabulous dinner party to answer the other two questions.

  5. AngelB on October 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    1. Laura Ingalls Wilder, Walter Payton (70s and 80s is history right?), Ladmo (only Phoenicians know who this is), Betsy Ross, and King Arthur.

    2. Georgette Heyer and Baroness Emmuska Orczy.

    3. Catherine of Aragon…she was the first and put up with the most. Plus she knew him when he was young.

  6. NikkiB on October 11, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Okay, here it goes….

    1) At my dinner table are:
    -Marie Antoinette- she will be of course, impeccably dressed and I have always wanted to know if she ever said “Let them eat cake.”
    – Joan of Arc- an amazing spiritual and historical figure
    – Elizabeth I- because I have always wondered if she could possibly live up to “the Great” title
    – Abraham Lincoln- what was he really like? were his convictions as strong as history says they are?
    – Jane Austen- because I would LOVE to meet her

    2. On a tour with Jane Austen and Laure Ingalls Wilder (what a combination!)

    3. Anne Boleyn– because while Henry VIII was soooo concerned with having a son, that he neglected to notice the she had given birth to one of England’s GREATEST monarchs. I think it is payback for chopping off her head, that she goes down in history as the mother of Elizabeth.

  7. Kayse on October 12, 2012 at 10:21 am

    1. I had a ridiculously hard time narrowing it down to just five, but I finally selected: John Adams, Abigail Adams, Jane Austen, Frederick Douglass, Lady Jane Grey.

    2. Probably you and Tasha Alexander.

    3. Anne of Cleves, hands-down.

  8. Lauren on October 12, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Meredith, I love your “I NEED A BIGGER DINNER TABLE!” comment. So. True.

    Although the historical personages banqueting hall would probably get out of hand pretty quickly.

  9. Lauren on October 12, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Angel B, can you ask King Arthur for me just how fictional he actually was? I’ve always wanted to know.

    • AngelB on October 13, 2012 at 10:39 am

      I’m sure the only fictional part of King Arthur was that he left Geneviere so desperate to chat on him with Lancelot. I’m sure that never happened. He was too perfect. 🙂

  10. Vanessa on October 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Ooh this is fun! I did something like this in high school in which I had to write a poem set inside Dante’s Inferno and I had to pick who would be my guide and what persons I would come across (imaginary or real). I remember I chose Victoria Holt as my guide, and I chose to come across the Phantom of the Opera, Al Capone and Robespierre.

    1. Edgar Allan Poe, Cleopatra, Jane Austen, Marie Antoinette, and
    Emily Dickinson.

    2. Sarah Dunant and you Lauren!

    3. Anne Boleyn

  11. Sheila on October 12, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Did you ever see the old Steve Allen show where he did exactly the same thing? Actors were dressed up as famous people and had wonderful conversations, just a terrific show, and very historically accurate. I think it was called Meeting of Minds.

  12. Candice on October 12, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Dinner Party:
    Julius Caesar
    Elizabeth I
    Eleanor of Aquitaine
    Charles Dickens

    I’d love to see Elizabeth, Eleanor, and Cleopatra get together; if we could drag Cleopatra and Caesar apart…

    Margaret George and Ken Follett. Both of these authors are so detailed in their books, and they span entire lifetimes. I love them.

    Catherine Parr, she was the wisest of the wives, and I can’t imagine being his sixth wife, after he had gotten rid of so many. Especially as she was a Protestant and Henry was still vying for whatever his version of religion was at the time.
    Although, I have to say that I love Kathryn Howard’s spunky last words: “I die a queen, but I’d rather die the wife of Culpeper!”

    • Leslie on October 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      Ohh yes Charles Dickens. I would tell Henry James the party was off and invite Dickens!

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