Which Historical Figures Would You Invite To Dinner?


Design your perfect fantasy dinner party

Remember this game? Imagine that you had a magical machine that could bring anyone from history right into your dining room for a wonderful dinner party. Who would you choose? And I mean anyone from any time period. It's hard to choose, that's for sure.

How do you select guests for a real dinner party? People who you know will get on well together because they have so much in common? Or people who will argue and have some interesting debates? Imagine Napoleon meeting Louis Armstrong. Or Marilyn Monroe having a chat with Queen Victoria. Maybe you'd like to see Mozart and Elvis meeting up.?

In this game, anything is possible.

Here, I have chosen six British people. That might - or might not - be the only thing they have in common. Will they get on with each other? Will they argue? Let me know what you think in the comment section below - or even write your own article to be included on this page.

Think fictional characters would be more fun? Then click here.

Images from Wikimedia Commons.


A princess

I couldn't resist. I do think that Diana will have some good stories to tell, don't you? If we can get hold of some truth drug to slip into her drink, it could be even more fun.

Not only would we get some great stories, it could be SO juicy. 'Tell me Diana,' another guest is sure to ask 'how do you feel about Charles being married to Camilla?'

And what about her boys? Didn't they turn out great? I'd love to know what she thinks about William's marriage and his baby son. Does she approve of Kate?

Best of all, what would she think about the other guests and what would they talk about, I wonder? And just as interesting, what will they make of her?


This is THE famous book about the Princess of Wales. When it was released, I was working for a publisher (not this one) and I remember how the book used to fly out of the door.

People would stand in line for hours to get a copy. It sold like hot cakes all over the world.

Now, it's a simple matter to order it on the internet.


Pop star

This was pretty irresistible too. I don't know about you but I have loads of questions I'd like to ask John Lennon. For example, did Yoko Ono really split up the Beatles?

I'd love to hear about his early days - those in Hamburg when the group were first starting out. What was it really like at the Cavern Club back in those days?

Do you think he'd tell us anything that will change our perceptions? Paul McCartney always says that their writing partnership was about 50-50. True or not?

The big question is, how will he get on with Diana? They were both cult figures who were thrust into the limelight at an early age - a good basis for a great conversation, I think.

John Lennon: The Life
John Lennon: The Life

I have about half dozen books about John Lennon. That's not because I'm a nutty fan, it's because his life was just fascinating.

His upbringing in Liverpool, his family background, the early days of the Beatles, his two marriages (and two sons) - all truly fascinating.

Look too for the books by his wife, Cynthia, and his sister, Julia. I have those and they are brilliant.



Now we go way back to Elizabeth the First. Although she was known as 'the Virgin Queen' I suspect she was far from it. She and Diana would have great conversations about royalty throughout the ages.

She a strong woman who would lead her country into war if necessary. How would that go down with Give-Peace-a-Chance John Lennon? I'm imagining heated conversations

Elizabeth was a highly intelligent woman. I imagine that she might have difficulties relating to people from the twentieth century. Or maybe not? She was a forward-thinker.

What I'd like to ask her is the truth about the death of her married lover's wife. Did Robert Dudley really kill his wife hoping that Elizabeth would marry him?

Churchill: The Power of Words
Churchill: The Power of Words

One thing I would really enjoy at my fantasy dinner party is hearing Churchill speak. They say that he was a wonderful raconteur with a brilliant wit.

I remember those speeches that I've heard to television - the ones that he gave during the Second World War - all good stirring stuff.

Maybe more than anyone, he knew the power of what words can do.



The thought of British warmongers Queen Elizabeth the First and Sir Winston Churchill chatting is a pretty fascinating idea, even more so when you throw Lennon into the mix.

Remember too that Diana, Princess of Wales' maiden name was Spencer too. She and Sir Winston were distantly related by marriage. This could be interesting indeed.

Diana, like John Lennon was known for peace initiatives which I'm sure they'd talk about. Diana was too young to remember Churchill but Lennon wasn't.

As coincidence would have it, do you remember John's middle name? That's right, Winston. I strongly suspect he was named after Churchill. Another interesting conversation...

The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family
The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family

I would love to have a dinner party exclusively with the Mitford sisters.

Between them, they were responsible for huge amount of scandal in the twentieth century. This is a party I would never want to end.

This book is simply brilliant. Did Unity really have Hitler's illegitimate child? Was Pamela what her sisters referred to as a 'you-know-what-bian'?


High society

I would have loved to have met Diana Mitford (Lady Mosley). She and Churchill knew each other. But there's more to it than that - a good whiff of scandal.

One of Diana's sisters, Rebecca, married Esmond Romilly who was related to Churchill by marriage. But more than that, it was often thought by the family that Esmond was Churchill's illegitimate son.

It would be nice to unravel that mystery. But I wonder how the two Dianas would have got on together? Both were from aristocratic families and fashion leaders in their day.

She was a fervent supporter of her husband, who was the founder of the British Union of Fascists. Indeed they were both imprisoned during WW2. What would Lennon make of that?

The Life of Elizabeth I
The Life of Elizabeth I

This is absolutely THE best book about the life of Elizabeth the First. It really looks into her character.

Plus, it appeals to the scandalmonger in me as it delves into the mystery of Robert Dudley's wife's death.

Is this why she never married and why she became known as the Virgin Queen?



We have quite a few serious conversations going on between our guests so I've invited Douglas Adams to bring some humour and fun to the occasion.

The other guests, with the exception of the two royal women, also wrote books. In particular Lennon and Churchill had similar senses of humour to Douglas Adams.

John Lennon was (unbelievably) twelve years older than Douglas Adams and it's possible he never read his books. Churchill and Elizabeth the First certainly didn't.

Ideally, after my fantasy dinner party, Douglas Adams would write a book about it and I'm pretty sure it would be a best seller even beating Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

This is the Douglas Adam's classic. It's been a radio show, a television program and a film.

Oh, and it's hilarious and very cleverly written.

If any author can get the best out of writing about the characters at my special party, this is the one.


Why not write about your own fictional party?

I wrote about a bunch of Brits but there are lots of other themes that I can think of. You can surely think of more. Plus, what food would you serve? What music would be playing? I'd love to know. When you write your own, let me know and I'll link it from this page.

Have a terribly sensible and serious group or be a bit silly - no rules!

  • Your favourite writers - Shakespeare meets John Fowles meets Robert Frost. Wow.
  • Theme your party around a location, as I did. Famous Australians, French chefs, American sports stars...
  • A profession is good idea. Artists or philosophers or actresses or supermodels.
  • Be daring. How would Atilla the Hun, Hitler and Julius Caesar fare?

Get started with your own article

Let me know about your own choices in the comments below. Post the link if you've written about your own ideal dinner party.

© 2014 Jackie Jackson

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Who would you invite? 17 comments

BritFlorida profile image

BritFlorida 2 years ago from Fort Lauderdale Author

Ah, of course, it's Scargill's fault.

alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Michael Parkinson's home turf. It's the association with 'King' Arthur (Scargill) that raises the titters. As there's a book titled 'Cleveland's Hall of Fame (and Infamy)', there must be one about the southern neck of Yorkshire, like Donny's got Jeremy Clarkson and a few other worthies. We must have a fair smattering of VC's and other honours between the three Ridings.

BritFlorida profile image

BritFlorida 2 years ago from Fort Lauderdale Author

Ayup Alan! Don't laugh (people do and I've no idea why!) Barnsley.

alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

What neck o' God's own land arta from, then, lass? (Ah shudda known fra thi traipsin' t' Whitby!)

BritFlorida profile image

BritFlorida 2 years ago from Fort Lauderdale Author

Haha Alan - we're from Yorkshire after all, we're not soft southerners with flunkies. We do our own dirty work - where there's muck, etc.

alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Haven't got the kind of stash to pay for flunkies. Have to be me own flunky, Missus.

It was a toss-up between Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels or Ulyanov/Lenin. The agency nearly sent Alfred Marks (some comedian), but Karl and Friedrich had previous engagements. Good job Lizzie turned up or else I'd have had the washing up to do on me own. Nell turned out to be a good diversion for Richard or he would be have been at daggers with Ollie C for giving Charlie the chop.

BritFlorida profile image

BritFlorida 2 years ago from Fort Lauderdale Author

It's an odd mixture certainly but that's a big part of the fun. I never thought about the washing up though....

alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Harold Godwinson, Richard III, Oliver Cromwell, John Duke of Marlborough, Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin), Nell Gwyn, Elizabeth Fry.

An odd mixture that would probably end up everyone either stamping out of the room in disgust or getting a skinful and chasing Nell round the garden, leaving Elizabeth Fry and me doing the washing up.

Ben Reed profile image

Ben Reed 2 years ago

I agree with Colin323 regarding Mo Mowlem. For many years Mo was a neighbour of mine - an inspirational person indeed.

BritFlorida profile image

BritFlorida 2 years ago from Fort Lauderdale Author

@Colin323: Sounds like an interesting bunch,Colin! Oh yes, her with the big ..... voice :)

profile image

Colin323 2 years ago

Tony Benn, Mo Mowlem and Enoch Powell, for a lively political discussion, plus Kate Rusby (from Barnsley, you know) to give us a song at the end of the meal

BritFlorida profile image

BritFlorida 2 years ago from Fort Lauderdale Author

@Adventuretravels: Thanks so much! Jackie Stewart counts for both - British and dyslexic.There's a really good video on my review of his book where he tells us about other well-know dyslexics. Isn't one of Prince Andrew's daughter dyslexic too?

Adventuretravels profile image

Adventuretravels 2 years ago from London UK

Fab idea -I'll get onto to this - mine will have to be from the UK - I'm given that I am also the Dyslexia Contributor on Squidoo I could invite a group of very clever dyslexics! I love your work britflora.

BritFlorida profile image

BritFlorida 2 years ago from Fort Lauderdale Author

@DreyaB: Yes you must! No rules :) Include the living too if you want. Oh my goodness - Douglas Adams and Murray Walker. Invite me!

DreyaB profile image

DreyaB 2 years ago from France

So many ideas, so little time... I'm sure I would have several dinners, especially if there are no rules. ;0) Oh no, you've set me off and I have so many lenses I want to write... Douglas Adams would certainly be on my list too, along with - No, I mustn't start! ;0)

BritFlorida profile image

BritFlorida 2 years ago from Fort Lauderdale Author

@Merrci: Do several :)

Merrci profile image

Merrci 2 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

What a fun idea! It would be very fun to do one too, though I will have to carefully consider who belongs at my dinner party! Great suggestion!

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