LISA HILTON interview

  A historian,author and journalist who is challenging our perception about the darkest patterns of Gender,Power and Art         

   @l.s.hilton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 AM:I have the impression, reading your Books, that at the center of your attention, is the mechanism of the desire of power as historically reflected on Art & Politics.
 I do not think that your priority is a tribute to the power of feminity but mainly an iconography of Art,Sex and Politics as the great mirrors of Human Desire for endless power.
 Which is your deepest motivation behind your research,studies and fiction works?

 What an astute observation! yes, I agree, power and its mechanisms are what fascinate me, whether historically or psychologically. 

 In a sense, all narrative is concerned with conflicts of power and I think this is something reflected in both my fiction  and non-fictional writing.

 AM:How do you experience yourself through the writing of your books, do you feel transformed by your heroines, by your fiction personae?

 Authors are often asked whether they see themselves in their characters, but I honestly don’t.

 There are however certain autobiographical elements I share with the heroine of the Maestra series, Judith Rashleigh- a birthplace, an interest in art and,  I admit, shoes!

 but I always try to think in terms of what the character will do, how they will react, rather than how I would personally.

 AM:Why is so important for the execution of High Politics in History the existence of methods and actions that are so much dependent from Woman's seduction?

 For centuries, the only power enjoyed by many women was erotic power. That said, there were always a small group of elite women,

 for example Elizabeth I or the medieval queens of England, both of which have been subjects of my books, who were able to deploy political power within a patriarchal system;

 however this was not the case for the majority. A woman’s sexual status in Western European history, whether as daughter, wife or widow, determined her social position,

 and her capacity for manoeuvre within those prescribed spheres was therefore often reduced to the ability (or not) to seduce.

 Yet I think it’s important not to generalise too far- women could and did act as autonomous agents across numerous periods and cultural spheres,

 and a history which emphasises the seductive above all else risks, in itself, becoming reductionist.

 AM:Have you ever compare our era with the historical periods that your works examined from the point of view of the Glory, the hunger for Power and the Depravity of the people?

 I’m interested in civilisation’s apparently in-built urge to self -destruct. if one thinks of the Versailles system,

 the very elements which made Louis XIV the most powerful man on earth in the seventeenth century brought about the French Revolution in  the eighteenth.

 I don’t know that the majority of people are depraved, but as a reluctant citizen of Brexit I do wonder sometimes about their intelligence...

 AM:Your Trilogy : Maestra, Domina, Ultima.. are these three names symbolically , not only the qualities and the orientation of each book,

 but something more about your Ideal for a type of Woman who is still decisive for our PostModern Art, Lifestyle and Politics future?

“Maestra” was multi-referential- to Artemisia Gentileschi, the painter who inspires Judith in Book One, who as the first female member of the Florentine Painters’ Guild was referred to as Maestra.

 The word also has connotations of “mistress”, therefore slightly sexual, but also of the name given to orchestra conductors, people who can keep innumerable complex narratives sustained simultaneously.

“Domina” was a little joke- Judith is at her least powerful in the book and it was compared so many times to a certain popular work of erotic fiction.

“Ultima” I used because it finally brings all the strands of Judith’s story and character definitively together.

  

 AM:I strongly believe that your Trilogy is not comparable with "50 Shades of Grey" for any reason. How do you feel with all media efforts to compare and connect your work with this book/movie series?

     Bored!

 AM:Is Sex a power for the Power or behind any great Power there is the domination of Sex?

 A really interesting consideration of this question is Naomi Aldreman’s excellent novel “The Power”. Is erotic satisfaction what the powerful ultimately seek, or is it a by product of domination?

 I think it’s always been a combination of the two.

 AM:How close is your Lifestyle , i mean your studies, your travel experiences, your works, your personal experience as a woman,to your Fiction world?

 I wish my life were half as exciting! I do try to write about places I know so as to give authenticity to the descriptions, and I confess that my own interest in fashion and food sometimes creeps onto the pages.

 AM:Share with me few words about your next plans, about Trilogy's movie preparation, your next big idea as a writer .

 I’ve never had any big ideas as a writer. I’m hopefully doing another history book next, and I’ve just finished a screenplay set in the nineteenth century art world.

 The movie preparation drags on- Hollywood is not a swift customer but hopefully one day I’ll be lucky enough to see Judith on the screen!

AM: Thanks so much !