The Duchess of Cornwall has recommended nine books she thinks will provide comfort during the coronavirus lockdown, including one by her late brother.
Camilla said that Travels On My Elephant by Mark Shand, a book about his love of an Asian elephant named Tara, always brings a tear to her eye, as she selected him among her chosen authors during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The royal revealed her list after both she and her husband, Prince Charles, separately self-isolated after he tested positive for coronavirus in Scotland.
Mr Shand was a wildlife conservationist and writer, who died at the age of 62 after suffering a fall in New York.
The tale of his rescue of Tara, who he saved from the eastern Indian streets before riding her 600 miles across the country formed the basis of his his best-selling book, as well as the foundation of his charity, Elephant Family.
The duchess said: “Ernest Hemingway, famously, once said ‘there is no friend as loyal as a book’.
“In these challenging times when we are isolated from the ones we love, many of us are finding comfort in reading, to fire up our imaginations, to take us on journeys and to make us laugh.
“With that in mind here is a list of my dearest ‘friends’, I hope you all enjoy them as much as I have and can I wish you all a very happy Easter.”
Other titles on the duchess’ reading list range from Philip Pullman’s fantasy novel, The Secret Commonwealth, to the historical classic A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
On the latter, she said: “This is a wonderful story of romantic and familial love set against the violence of the French Revolution.
“It is one of my favourite books by Charles Dickens and, in my humble opinion, one of his best.”
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Wartime thriller Restless by William Boyd also appears in the literary line-up, as does the “magical, colourful tale”, The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak.
The duchess also had praise for The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard, saying it is “a multi-generational saga by this brilliant author, of a British family before, during and after World War II.”
The list in full:
- Restless by William Boyd
- A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- The Simon Serrailler series by Susan Hill
- The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman
- The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard
- A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles
- The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain
- The Architect’s Apprentice by Elif Shafak
- Travels On My Elephant by Mark Shand