After the successful first season of The Duchess of Cornwall’s reading room, Camilla has launched the season season in memory of The Duke of Edinburgh. Camilla has recommended four new books for followers to read and enjoy.
Camilla’s tribute to Prince Philip reads as follows:
“As Patron of Booktrust, which I inherited from my late father-in-law His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, I would like to dedicate the next series of my Reading Room to him, in memory of a great fellow reader.”
The Duchess of Cornwall launched The Reading Room to be a ‘celebration of literature in all its forms’ and to be ‘a hub for literary communities around the world’.
This season the books include:
The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman – The second volume of Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust sees Lyra, now twenty years old, and her daemon Pantalaimon, forced to navigate their relationship in a way they could never have imagined, and drawn into the complex and dangerous factions of a world that they had no idea existed. Pulled along on his own journey too is Malcolm; once a boy with a boat and a mission to save a baby from the flood, now a man with a strong sense of duty and a desire to do what is right.
Their’s is a world at once familiar and extraordinary, and they must travel far beyond the edges of Oxford, across Europe and into Asia, in search for what is lost – a city haunted by daemons, a secret at the heart of a desert, and the mystery of the elusive Dust.
girl by Edna O’Brien – The tale of a girl abducted by Nigerian terrorists, this masterly novel refines O’Brien’s signature concern with the social, sexual and religious oppression of women and speaks keenly to the most relevant issues of modern society.
The Red Notebook by Antonie Laurain – Bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street, and feels impelled to return it to its owner. The bag contains no money, phone or contact information. But a small red notebook with handwritten thoughts and jottings reveals a person that Laurent would very much like to meet. Without even a name to go on, and only a few of her possessions to help him, how is he to find one woman in a city of millions?
A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles – On 21 June 1922, Count Alexander Rostov – recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt – is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol. Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely. But instead of his usual suite, he must now live in an attic room while Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval.
As an avid reader herself, Camilla is patron of a number of literary charities, including the National Literacy Trust, BookTrust, The Royal Society of Literature, First Story, the Wicked Young Writer Awards and Beanstalk. She is involved in the 500 Words BBC Radio 2 competition each year, as well as the Booker Prize.
To mark World Book Day 2021, The Duchess of Cornwall was asked about the importance of books and World Book Day in which she replied: “I think it’s lovely that we have a special day to celebrate books. After all we have special days to celebrate everything else and books are very important things in our lives.
“A world without books is completely unimaginable. Because all you kind authors are giving out these books on World Book Day is something very, very special because so many of these children have no books or probably never read a book before.”
In January 2020, The Duchess of Cornwall wrote an article for The Sun in support of their “Books for Schools” campaign.