We are privileged. There are poor people out there. We must to do something to make them privileged.
That is my major concern: writers who are in prison for writing.
People in my books tend to get their just deserts, even if not at the hands of the police.
Normally I make myself swim, do exercises. For zest I like going to the cinema.
Ninety-seven is my lucky number.
My mother, who was quite sharp when I was young, became utterly mild.
My mother was a politician in my formative years.
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.
Mary Queen of Scots was my first love, and that is always something special.
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.
King Charles II liked women’s company and well as making love to them.
It can be a long gap between the emergence of fully researched historical biographies.
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!
The clue to book jacket photography is to look friendly and approachable, but not too glamorous.
I’m very interested in good and evil and the moral natures of people.
I’m glad I was never an heiress.
I think there has been a great deal of valuable revisionism in women’s history.
I think there’s a tremendous split between people who’ve been through a war and people who haven’t.
I think mine is the fullest and most plausible account of what went on in Marie Antoinette’s life.
I think crime writing is my link with trying to preserve a sort of order.
I realize that I had always in my heart of hearts planned to write a biography of Marie Antoinette.
I have no plans for a future Jemima Shore mystery, but would write one tomorrow if a good idea came to me.
I hate the only one of my book jackets when I was made up professionally, my hair made into a smooth bell.
I don’t like it, but this afternoon I’ve told myself I am going to go and get a dress.
I can’t read historical fiction because I find the real thing so much more interesting.
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.
As long as you persecute people, you will actually throw up terrorism.
After Mary Queen of Scots, I turned to the farthest subject possible: Cromwell.