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History Buff is a site
for history lovers everywhere. It is also a site very interested in women
of the past. Although I (sadly) no longer have time to continue these interviews, here is an archive of Q&As about women's lives
in history. And please feel free to stop by History Buff's
sister site for archaeological discoveries making news today. Enjoy!
historical fiction writer I am fascinated by news stories featuring the
past as it's unearthed and reimagined and brought to life. I spend a
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Monday, July 6, 2009
Q&A With Historical Fiction Author Susan Holloway Scott
* In your latest historical novel, THE FRENCH MISTRESS, a poor young lady from the country arrives at the court of Louis XIV. What are some of the things which would have shocked your protagonist, Louise de Keroualle, upon her arrival?
I’d guess that the hardest thing for Louise to accept about the French royal court would likely have been its patent insincerity. The provincial Keroualles were pious and honorable, and Louise had been raised to be the same. She soon found out that life at Court was all about power, titles, and wealth; without any of them, she was virtually invisible, despite her beauty. Louise realized, too, that a great many unsavory secrets (marital infidelity and abuse, bisexuality, and homosexuality, were only a few that would have shocked a well-bred Catholic girl) hid behind handsome faces and beautiful clothes, and that if she wished to prosper, she must listen, observe, and adapt. In time the hard lessons she learned at Versailles and the Louvre carried her to great success in the English royal court in London.
*What drew you to the courts of King Louis XIV and King Charles II?
* How much of the novel is based on fact and how much is fiction?
* Tell us something surprising about women in 17th century France.
* What are you working on next?
Thank you, Susan! And feel free to visit Susan Holloway Scott online for more information about her amazing new novel THE FRENCH MISTRESS.