Ooooo, this is a fun one! Whom shall I choose? What should I ask, since I only have five questions?
I spent most of the day thinking about this, and I narrowed it down to these people:
1) Queen Elizabeth I, because she was such a fascinating and influential person, in addition to being an incredible woman;
2) William Shakespeare, because there is so much we don’t know about this most famous of writers;
3) Eleanor of Aquitaine, usually described as the wife of two kings (Louis VII of France and Henry II of England) and mother of three (Henry “the young king,” Richard I, and John), another fascinating woman and the most powerful and influential woman of her times;
4) The Buddha, to discuss enlightenment and peace.
(Part of me wants to sit down with George R.R. Martin and ask him what the hell is going to happen next, just in case he never does finish “A Song of Ice and Fire,” but the prompt specifically says “historical figure” so he doesn’t count.)
Oh, I’m a writer, so you know how this is going to turn out.
Good morrow to you, Master Shakespeare. Just a few questions, if you don’t mind.
1) To what extent are your works – in particular your sonnets – drawn from your life?
2) Following on from that last question, who exactly is the Dark Lady of the Sonnets? What about the young man?
3) Where exactly did you stash all those manuscripts of your plays?
4) Who’s your favorite leading lady? Is it Viola or Beatrice? I hope it’s Viola or Beatrice…
5) How did you write so many plays in so little time? Was money a big motivating factor or was it mostly all those characters inside your head?
What would you ask of a famous historical person?