Happy Birthday, Philippa Gregory, born 9 January 1954
- I have a great liking for the first person narrative because it gets the reader into the head of the character; it takes the reader back in time, with a sense of immediacy that makes them feel they are there.
- Because all books are forbidden when a country turns to terror. The scaffolds on the corners, the list of things you may not read. These things always go together.
- Katherine of Aragon was speaking out for the women of the country, for the good wives who should not be put aside just because their husbands had taken a fancy to another, for the women who walked the hard road between kitchen, bedroom, church and childbirth. For the women who deserved more than their husband's whim.
- Although some people think I am a romantic novelist I have always thought of myself as a rather gritty radical historian.
- I love reading and I love thinking - the reason that I love my books so much is that in order to write them I have to read and to think for years at a time about the same period of time.
- I believe in me, in my view of the world. I believe in my responsibility for my own destiny, guilt for my own sins, merit for my own good deeds, determination of my own life. I don't believe in miracles, I believe in hard work.
- Words have weight, something once said cannot be unsaid. Meaning is like a stone dropped into a pool; the ripples will spread and you cannot know what back they wash against.
Amanda Patterson Interviews Philippa Gregory (2006)
1. Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
The protagonist from Mine Own Executioner by Nigel Balchin
2. What is your most treasured possession?
My Porsche Carrera - a blue convertible
3. Which living person do you most dislike?
4. What is your greatest fear?
I am afraid of being afraid
5. Who or what has been the greatest love of your life?
My husband, Anthony Mason, and our six children
6. What is your greatest regret?
I wish I’d been better educated - instead of being lazy and rebellious
7. If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be?
Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice
8. Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?
Howard’s End by E M Forster
9. What is your favourite journey?
The train ride between Devon and Cornwall
10. What do you most value in a friend?
Loyalty and trustworthiness
11. What quality do you most admire in a woman?
12. Which book that you’ve written is your favourite?
The Constant Princess
13. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Write the best you can - honour your heart.
14. What are your favourite names?
Sara and Harry
15. What do you do as a hobby?
Ride horses, swim, and take country walks.
16. What are your top 3 books?
Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, The Collected Works of James Thurber, The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm.
17. Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?
Research. One book suggests another..
Interview by Amanda Patterson, 19 June 2006
Gregory is a British writer of historical novels. She was an established historian and writer when she discovered her interest in the Tudor period and wrote the novel The Other Boleyn Girl which was made into a tv drama, and a major film. She has written 25 novels.
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