Sophie Perinot, author of The Sister Queens (look for my review soon!), has stopped by today on The Book Vault to answer this question!
The Reluctant Time Traveler
In preparation for my visit at The Book Vault (yay!), Dominique asked me to consider which era I’d like to visit if I could travel back in time, and what I would do once I got there.
My first thought—Oooo easy! I’d head to the 13th century to visit my sister queens, Marguerite and Eleanor of Provence, and see if I got them right in my novel. We could talk sister-stuff and maybe I could squeeze my own oh-so-close sister into the time machine with me (she’s skinny). But, wait! I’ve always wanted to meet Elizabeth I. When I was young I loved to imagine that I was Elizabeth reincarnated. I thrilled to read quotes like, “I have the heart of a man, not a woman, and I am not afraid of anything.” Beauty, strength, real power and the will to wield it – Elizabeth had it all. Not to mention ginger hair, the loveliest of all colors. Spending a few days observing her rule and her court would be a real treat. But, if I am going to travel to the 16th century, I have this secret crush on Philippe de Mornay, Lord of du Plessis Marly, and this would be my chance to meet him (preferably before he married Charlotte d’Arbaleste). Oh the choices!
After a few more rounds of similar kid-in-a-candy-store thinking, a different side of me took over. I could be mature about this, set aside my selfish desire to share a magic moment with the man who would come to be known as “the Protestant Pope,” and use my trip to the past for the greater good. Why not go back and prevent something terrible from happening? Kill Hitler. Be waiting with a ship to off-load the passengers of the Titanic. Sophie Perinot, activist time-traveler.
And, that’s when I realized, as thrilling as it might be to witness some of the seminal moments in history, I would ultimately say “no thanks” to time travel if it were possible. Shocked fellow fans and writers of historical fiction? Well, here’s the thing, I like my present just the way it is—highs and lows alike. And I am pretty sure if I travelled back to the past my actions and reactions there could mean I don’t end up precisely where I am now.
Theoretically I could set aside my plans for interfering with history, travel back in time and be a fly on the wall. Touch nothing, say nothing. Be Sophie the observer. The problem is, I am not good at doing nothing and I am even WORSE at saying nothing. Anybody who knows me can confirm this. My husband jokes that I think I could run EVERYTHING better. Even the papacy (and I am hardly a candidate for pope being a female non-catholic). I am not conceding I would wreck havoc in history because, well (*blushes*) I could probably improve a few outcomes (drat, my husband is right), but I would make an impact and that seems wrong. It seems like playing god.
So, I’ll limit my time traveling to its traditional form—through books (both non-fiction and historical fiction). Books allow me to visit any century I like without giving up central heating and indoor plumbing. And they allow me to come home again, at moment’s notice, to the people and life that I love and wouldn’t change for anything in the world.
Thanks for stopping by, Sophie!
Don't forget to check out Sophie's new novel, The Sister Queens!
Patient, perfect, and used to being first, Marguerite becomes Queen of France. But Louis IX is a religious zealot who denies himself the love and companionship his wife craves. Can she borrow enough of her sister's boldness to grasp her chance for happiness in a forbidden love?
Doesn't it sound fantastic??! Look for my review soon!
Penguin has also generously donated 2 copies of The Sister Queens for me to giveaway! To enter, just use the Rafflecopter!
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