The clue to book jacket photography is to look friendly and approachable, but not too glamorous.
Of course there's no such thing as a totally objective person, except Almighty God, if she exists.
I decided as usual that justice lay in the middle - that is to say nowhere.
I love hearing details of writers' craft, as cannibals eat the brains of clever men to get cleverer.
I can't read historical fiction because I find the real thing so much more interesting.
Lives in previous centuries for women are largely a matter of class. It would have been fun to have been a rich, privileged woman in the 18th century, but no fun at all to be her maid.
I hate the only one of my book jackets when I was made up professionally, my hair made into a smooth bell.
My advantage as a woman and a human being has been in having a mother who believed strongly in women's education. She was an early undergraduate at Oxford, and her own mother was a doctor.
I realize that I had always in my heart of hearts planned to write a biography of Marie Antoinette.
I think crime writing is my link with trying to preserve a sort of order.
I have no plans for a future Jemima Shore mystery, but would write one tomorrow if a good idea came to me.
I am re-reading Henry James as a change from history. I began with Daisy Miller, and I've just finished Washington Square. What a brilliant, painful book.
That is my major concern: writers who are in prison for writing.
My mother was a politician in my formative years.
Mary Queen of Scots was my first love, and that is always something special.
King Charles II liked women's company and well as making love to them.
If I write that it was a cold day, you can be sure I know it was a cold day because Pepys told us.
The concentration in my book on Marie Antoinette's childhood and on her family influences. It is surprising how some books actually start with her arrival in France!
I'm very interested in good and evil and the moral natures of people.
I'm glad I was never an heiress.
As long as you persecute people, you will actually throw up terrorism.
My mother, who was quite sharp when I was young, became utterly mild.
Ninety-seven is my lucky number.
It can be a long gap between the emergence of fully researched historical biographies.
Her imperturbable self-confidence (Duchesse de Maine) caused Madame de Stael to write that the Duchesse believed in herself the same way she believed in God, without explanation or discussion.
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