For the first installement of the “15 Minutes With” series of 2015, I’m very pleased to introduce you to Imogen Robertson. An ex TV director turned historical novelist, Imogen read Russian and German at Cambridge and now lives in London. Her latest work, The Paris Winter, set during the glittery Belle Epoque era, is a wonderful tale of poverty and luxury, deception and danger.
Curious to find out more about Imogen? Read on:
1. If you could live in any era, what would it be and why?
Can I take modern dentistry, antibiotics and anesthetics with me? There are enormous advantages to living in the modern age, particularly if you are a woman. If I were allowed to take all of those things with me though, and magically become a talented artist, I think I’d like to be a goldsmith in London around the time of the Restoration.
2. If you could invite three people, dead or alive, to dinner, who would you invite, and why?
Suzanne Valadon, who features in Paris Winter. She was a remarkable artist born and raised on the streets of Montmartre – eccentric, funny and full of life. Emma Thompson because she is a brilliant writer and actor and I think she would get along with Suzanne, and T. S. Eliot. Not sure he would enjoy himself, but I’d be fascinated to see him.
3. Three books everyone should read?
MIddlemarch by George Eliot, Religion and the Decline of Magic by Keith Thomas and A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf. Oh, and The Paris Winter, of course.
4. Who’s your style icon?
Kenny from South Park
5. What are you watching on TV?
My husband and I are binge watching Grey’s Anatomy at the moment. I think I could perform major heart surgery now.
6. What’s the soundtrack of your life?
Handel, Vivaldi, Boccherini. And The Police.
7. What’s your favourite holiday destination, and why?
Porto, Portugal. My mother in law lives there and I love going to visit her. It’s a beautiful city full of friends and good food and the ocean is right there.
8. What inspires you?
Old newspapers, odd lines in history books, pictures and portraits, music, conversations on buses and landscapes. Inspiration is everywhere.
9. One thing on your bucket list?
I’d like to do some more traveling in America. Feels like a long time since I visited!
10. Something about you that would surprise us?
Four of my nephews and my niece speak fluent Serbian.