History is in the big events and personalities: World Wars, kings, queen, princes. But it’s also in the small things: clothing, food, the quotidian circumstances of daily life. Jennifer Robson is a writer who recreates in exacting detail the fashions, foods, manners, and mores of an era long gone in order to bring the past to life, and her fiction is populated with characters both real and imagined.

“If you can create characters who people care about, then you can get people to care about history and keep it alive somehow,” she says. “If reading one of my books … propels someone to want to learn more about the Great War, for example, then I feel I’ve accomplished something,” she says.

But don’t call her novels romances. “Romance isn’t at the heart of any of these stories,” Jennifer says. “What I’m interested in seeing is a woman go from a place of relative powerlessness to a place of relative strength.”

Born and raised in Peterborough, Ontario, where her father taught European history at Trent University, Robson earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario and a PhD at St. Antony’s College at the University of Oxford.

Appearing in: 41. Stitching in Time: Historical Fiction

Website: www.jennifer-robson.com
Book: www.harpercollins.ca/9780062884275/the-gown/