Jacqueline Wilson Reveals Favourite Books

University’s TS Eliot prize winner celebrates World Book Day

Celebrated children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson has exclusively revealed her favourite books, to mark World Book Day on Thursday 5 March, and to encourage people to enjoy studying literature.

Dame Jacqueline, who is Chancellor of the University of Roehampton, picked Jane Eyre as her top book for serious readers. She also named a recently re-published children’s book Nancy and Plum as a favourite.

During her own writing career, Dame Jacqueline, who became Chancellor in July at the University’s graduation ceremony has published 100 children’s books, which have sold more than 35 million copies worldwide.

“My favourite children's book is totally unknown,” Dame Jacqueline said, “It's called Nancy and Plum by an American author, Betty Macdonald. It's recently been re-published by Vintage, and I'm delighted. It's a story about two orphan girls who live in a horrible boarding school and cope with misfortune by playing all sorts of imaginary games, a practice I certainly understand. My favourite adult book is Jane Eyre - another orphan, another institution!”

The University of Roehampton runs an undergraduate degree scheme in English Literature, and a postgraduate qualification in Children’s Literature. Jane Eyre is studied by first year English and Creative Writing students at Roehampton as part of the Introduction to Literary Studies module.

In addition to Dame Jacqueline, TS Eliot Poetry Prize winner David Harsent, who is Professor of Creative Writing at the University and chair of the Roehampton Poetry Centre has named Four Quartets by Eliot as his favourite work. He said: “The book I always take with me when I go away, among others, of course, but this unfailingly, is Four Quartets. The older I get, the more convinced I am of Eliot's greatness. Vision can't be commanded, which is why what's ersatz is so easy to spot. Eliot's vision is all gift. I have read the Quartets many times, and each time new.”

March 4, 2015

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