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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > June 2016 > Star interview: Hallie Rubenhold

Star interview: Hallie Rubenhold

Drawing back the sheets

Exploring the hidden lives of women underpins all historian and novelist Hallie Rubenhold’s work, she tells Tina Jackson

Hallie Rubenhold is a historian on a mission to uncover the untold stories of the most intimate part of women’s lives. ‘I never set out to be a historian of sex – but I am!’ she laughs. Hallie is the author of The Scandalous Lady W, the sensational history of an aristocratic sex scandal in the 18th century that was a hit costume drama when it was televised last year, and novels set in the notorious demi-monde of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. She has made women’s most secret lives her speciality.

‘Sex is the thing people don’t talk about but it expresses the self in the most basic way. You are completely vulnerable, completely yourself in your sexual relationships and so it’s very interesting to look at women’s lives through that particular lens.’ Hallie’s period is the late 18th and early 19th centuries – her new novel, The French Lesson, is set during the French Revolution. ‘I think the 18th and early 19th centuries have always fascinated me because it’s the dawning of the modern era – the modern age’s adolescent period, full of revolution, upheaval, rebellion and trying on new ideas. It’s a time of enormous change and I’m very drawn to it.’

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Handling heroes: Learn from the Bard New series: An insider's view of publishing Written your book? We'll help you sell it! How to: • Write better features • Sell and re-sell your writing overseas • Create a screenplay from your novel Pen pushers: Ideas and exercises to inspire your writing Star interview: Scandalous historian Halle Rubenhold WIN! A 6-day Arvon writer's retreat worth £600

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