I’m grateful to the most excellent author, Mary Tod, for featuring an interview here http://awriterofhistory.com/2013/10/30/jenny-barden-the-lost-duchess/
from which this is a short excerpt:
After several weeks posting about either Unravelled or the historical fiction survey, I’m delighted to celebrate the return to ‘regular programming’ by interviewing Jenny Barden, author of Mistress of the Sea and her latest novel, The Lost Duchess. I first met Jenny during the run up to the 2012 Historical Novel Society conference in London and a few months ago I had the delightful privilege of reading Mistress of the Sea. If that dramatic, plot-twisting story is anything to go by, readers are in for a treat with Jenny’s second novel.
Can you tell us why the 16th century and tales involving ocean voyages are so intriguing to you as a writer?
The sixteenth century is such a wonderfully rich and fascinating period in English history. It was our Golden Age, the Age of Discovery, an era that saw a flowering in the arts and visionary thinking. This was the age of Shakespeare and Marlowe, Bacon and Raleigh, and countless other great men and women, led by our ‘Gloriana’, Queen Elizabeth, who saw no end to what England and her people could achieve. As for the voyages, these are key episodes in England’s growth as a nation. The backdrop to Mistress of the Sea was Drake’s first successful raid against the Spanish in Panama which set him on the path to fame and fortune. Drake’s subsequent exploits in asserting English dominance at sea were to culminate in the defeat of the Spanish Armada and prepare the way for the foundation of the British Navy. My book soon to be released, The Lost Duchess, is about the first attempt to found a permanent English colony in America, another historically significant enterprise that involved the rigours of a long ocean voyage. As a novelist, I find there’s an irresistible allure to writing about these ventures that involved journeys into the unknown and risking all to go further and do more than had ever been attempted before. With ocean crossings there’s also a romance that goes very deep and that’s tied up with the beauty and fascination of the sea, its unpredictability and promise, the endless possibilities it presents, and that fact that, ultimately, we’re always at the sea’s mercy.