I’m at that familiar “it’s impossible” stage, brought on (as usual) by research. My focus has been La Grande Mademoiselle, but—like the lady herself—it’s a big, brave, sad story, rather like that of a female Don Quixote. It’s hard to take on a subject about which much has been written. I waded into Josephine blindly—and over a decade later waded back out.


Also, I waver between fact and fancy. I’ve been (as a novelist should) giving way to fancy—but now, rereading Pitts’ La Grande Mademoiselle at the Court of France, I’m face-to-face once again with fact. It’s like poking a hole in a balloon.

(For notes on the research, see my research blog, Baroque Explorations.)