Duchess of Cornwall reveals first four personal picks for her new online ‘reading room’

Duchess of Cornwall reveals first four personal picks for her new online ‘reading room’ – including a historic masterpiece and a ‘painfully beautiful’ murder mystery

  • Camilla, 73, has revealed first four personal picks for new online ‘reading room’
  • Dame Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror And The Light has been picked by the duchess
  • William Boyd’s Restless, Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak have also been selected

Ranging from a historic masterpiece to a ‘painfully beautiful’ murder mystery, the Duchess of Cornwall has revealed the first four personal picks for her new online ‘reading room’.

Camilla, 73, who has already attracted more than 30,000 literary enthusiasts to her Instagram site, has launched the initiative with The Mirror and The Light by Hilary Mantel; Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens; Restless by William Boyd; and Elif Shafak’s The Architect’s Apprentice.

In a special film created to welcome readers to the Instagram-based literary initiative, the royal spoke about her own love for reading.

‘To me, reading is a great adventure. I’ve loved it since I was very small and I’d love everybody else to enjoy it as much as I do,’ she said. ‘You can escape, and you can travel, and you can laugh and you can cry. There’s every type of emotion humans experience in a book.’

Camilla (pictured), 73, has revealed the first four personal picks for her new online ‘reading room’

Dame Hilary Mantel's The Mirror And The Light has been picked by the duchess alongside William Boyd's Restless, Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and The Architect's Apprentice by Elif Shafak (pictured)

Dame Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror And The Light has been picked by the duchess alongside William Boyd’s Restless, Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak (pictured)

Camilla is following in the footsteps of TV presenters Richard and Judy by launching her own book club.

The Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room will be a ‘celebration of literature’ and, she hopes, a hub for literary communities around the world.

Four of her recommended books will be unveiled each season, with the first out today.

Hillary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light is the conclusion to her Wolf Hall trilogy, based on the life of Thomas Cromwell, and was eight years in the making.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is set in the desolate marshlands of the North Carolina coast and tells a coming-of-age story through the eyes of an abandoned child. The New York Times described it as a ‘painfully beautiful’ first novel.

By contrast William Boyd’s spy story Restless explores the wartime adventures and peacetime intrigues of Russian √©migr√© Eva Delectorskaya, who is recruited for the British Secret Service in 1939.

A stunning portrait (pictured) of the Duchess of Cornwall was released ahead of the announcement of the royal's Reading Room book club's first four titles

A stunning portrait (pictured) of the Duchess of Cornwall was released ahead of the announcement of the royal’s Reading Room book club’s first four titles

The Duchess of Cornwall's Reading Room will be a 'celebration of literature' and, she hopes, a hub for literary communities around the world

The Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room will be a ‘celebration of literature’ and, she hopes, a hub for literary communities around the world

Lastly, The Architect’s Apprentice is described as a ‘dazzling and intricate’ tale from Elif Shafak, set in 16th Century Istanbul.

Camilla was inspired to set up the free initiative as a result of the phenomenal response to two suggested reading lists she published during the first lockdown, as well as research which showed that book sales soared by 400 per cent.

The duchess and her team decided to set up a more permanent platform to celebrate and explore literature from around the world – @duchessofcornwallsreadingroom.

Sources say she has put her ‘heart and soul’ into the venture, which is a royal first.

Each recommended book will be accompanied by exclusive content from the authors, as well as the duchess herself, to spark conversation and debate.

Since joining the Royal Family, Camilla has made the issue of literacy – particularly in children -one of the cornerstone of her work and is patron of seven charities including National Literacy Trust.

Charlie Mackesy, author and illustrator of best-seller The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, has given his support to the project (pictured during a video call with the Duchess)

Charlie Mackesy, author and illustrator of best-seller The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, has given his support to the project (pictured during a video call with the Duchess)

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