Thursday, September 18, 2008


I love researching a new book. The trouble is that as well as finding out the things I need to know, I also discover other information that has no place in my story but is interesting in its own right. For example, I needed to find a mansion or palace in Paris in 1814 where my characters would live for a few months. I found one, but in doing so I became intrigued by another house on the rue du Faubourg St Honore. Built in the 1720 by the Charost family, it was bought in 1803 by Pauline Borghese, Napoleon's sister, who spent eleven years refurbishing it. After Napoleon had been exiled to Elba she too was forced into exile and put it up for sale. It was bought by the Duke of Wellington who, soon to take up his post as Ambassador, needed a residence and embassy. It is still the British embassy and over the years a fascinating number of people have lived or stayed there. Among them are Madame Recamier, whose father was reputed to have married her to secure her as his heir; Oscar Wilde, composer Franz Liszt who taught music there, and Somerset Maugham who was born in the house. Winston Churchill's parents were married there, and Nancy Mitford featured the house in her novels. There is lots more, but I have to be tough with myself and get back to my story.

Jane Jackson.


kate tremayne said...

Fascinating blog, Jane. Can't wait for the novel to come out. There's a blockbuster in the making here.

Jane Odiwe said...

How fascinating Jane-I know just what you mean about the research taking over, especially if I'm at a point that seems difficult to resolve! I persuade myself that I must do more investigation, when really I'm just looking for an excuse to avoid having to tackle a tricky bit of writing.

Anonymous said...

Jane said...

Thanks, Kate. Actually I do have a "gut" feeling about this book - a kind of shivery excitement. So either I'm definitely on course - or getting 'flu!

Jane - you have perfectly described my own justification!

Anonymous said...

If only walls could talk, Jane - so many stories to be told there, I am sure.

Thanks for posting this - an good luck with the book