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Don’t Lose Your Head | Interview with Harriet Marsden (+Bookstagram!)

Posted May 29, 2021 by Kait in Bookstagram, Interviews, Promo Post, Spotlight / 0 Comments

Happy Saturday! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Harriet Marsden to share with you! Her new book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about Don’t Lose Your Head and Harriet!

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Don’t Lose Your Head | Interview with Harriet Marsden (+Bookstagram!)Don't Lose Your Head: Life Lessons from the Six Ex-Wives of Henry VIII by Harriet Marsden
Published on February 16, 2021 by Ulysses Press
Genres: History, Non-Fiction, Retellings
Pages: 192
Format: Hardcover
Source: the Publisher
Add to Goodreads
Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads

Survive alongside Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, and the rest of King Henry VIII’s ill-fated wives with this witty book of essential life advice, history, and trivia—the perfect handbook for fans of the hit musical Six.
Get the inside scoop from some of the toughest women in English history, as ex-wives, mothers, and daughters of King Henry VIII dish out all their survival secrets in this humorous guide to life. With a bit of sarcasm and friendly charm, each of these legendary ladies explains how their 16th-century hard-earned lessons (from living with unstable men to stifling Tudor traditions) apply to 21st-century dating, marriage, and feminism.
Written from the perspectives of each of the different women around Henry VIII, you’ll get the facts from the Queen Mother and the less-remembered but no less important Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, and more.
With must-know historical trivia alongside wise life advice, Don’t Lose Your Head is the perfect survival guide for fans obsessed with Broadway’s latest historical pop musical Six, as well as anyone fascinated by British royalty and culture.

If you could pick one person from your book to hang out with for the day, who would it be and why?

Catherine Parr. She was smart, brave, and took absolutely no sh*t. Plus I’d want to dish about Elizabeth I, her naughty step-daughter grew into a great ruler – and tell her that she was partially to thank for that legacy of English queens. I’d say she was also a bit quirky and had excellent chat.

What would you do with that person? (Where would you go to eat, show off, hang out, relax, etc.?)

We’d go to the pub, of course! A true Northern woman appreciates a good pub and a warm pie. And maybe the British library, to show her all the books published by women after hers. She loved birds, so perhaps to a wildlife centre or zoo, and beautiful clothes. A fashion exhibition at the V&A?

Who do you think would have the best social media presence if all the characters were transported to 2021, and what would it be like?

Anne Boleyn, without question. She was savvy beyond her time, multilingual, musical, witty, and unbelievably well-read. She would have had the sharpest takes on Twitter, the most stylish French aesthetic on her Instagram, and she probably would have been au fait with TikTok trends before the rest of the court had even downloaded the app. She’d be constantly trending: endlessy controversial but obsessively stalked. She probably could have single-handedly taken down Zuckerberg – if she wasn’t cancelled first.

What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?

I read a lot about Catherine of Aragon’s mother, Isabella I of Castile – the de facto first queen of Spain. She was probably the greatest ruler of her time in terms of power and influence, and practically forged Spain as we know it, but she was also responsible for the persecution and expulsion of Jews and Muslims from the Iberian peninsula. Plus, she funded Columbus’s journey to the Americas, which was catastrophic or revolutionary depending on how you see it. Arguably, she had the greatest impact on the modern West of any ruler, but was herself beset by tragedies in the deaths or madness of several children, and struggled with her own intransigence and prejudice. If it wasn’t for her deeply religious convictions, and their influence on Catherine of Aragon, it’s possible that Henry’s first wife would have stepped aside to a nunnery or exile far earlier and thus avoided England’s break with Rome. A fascinating woman, and subject. Worthy of her own book!

If you buried a time capsule with three items inside, what three items would you choose and why?

  • A mobile phone loaded up with all social media apps, news editions and Spotify charts. A perfect snapshot of contemporary culture.
  • Seeds for edible plants. You never know when that might come in useful.
  • A mosquito trapped in amber, in case they need to reconstruct our DNA like in Jurassic Park!

coming soon!

About Harriet Marsden

Harriet Marsden is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously a sub-editor at The Times, she now works for a variety of publications, including The Independent, HuffPost, the Guardian, and Foreign Policy. Marsden can often be heard on the radio at stupid o’clock, reviewing the news and mocking politicians. She is also a feminist commentator and contributing author to DK’s The Feminism Book. Hobbies include reading, swimming, and Broadway musicals (she can do all the raps from Hamilton). She has a bachelor’s in languages from the University of Cambridge and a master’s in international journalism from City University, London. She lives in South London with a cat, two birds, and innumerable plants. This is her first novel. Find her online (harrietmarsden.com) and on Twitter (@harriet1marsden).

What do you think about Don’t Lose Your Head? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!

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