Joanna Trollope shares what's on her bookshelf

Bestselling author Joanna Trollope shares the books she's been reading and enjoying recently. 

Joanna Trollope is the author of many highly acclaimed and bestselling novels, including The Rector's Wife, Marrying the Mistress, Daughters in Law and City of Friends, here she shares some of her favourite books.

Birdcage Walk

by Helen Dunmore

Book cover for Birdcage Walk

I have recently read 2 books by Helen Dunmore - one a novel and the other a posthumous poetry collection, which deservedly won the Costa prize in January. Helen died of cancer last year, which was a huge blow as she was both a seriously lovely person as well as a stunning writer.

I’ve probably read all her novels, but this last one, Birdcage Walk is not only wonderful but a very good place to start, if you are new to her writing.

Inside the Wave

by Helen Dunmore

Book cover for Inside the Wave

And the poetry collection is not only inevitably poignant but is written so much in her generous and wistful voice - it’s called Inside The Wave, and it is so good.

Jane Austen's Letters

by Deirdre Le Faye

Book cover for Jane Austen's Letters

I also had reason to re-read some of Jane Austen’s letters recently, and they utterly belie any notion of her ever being a sprig muslin, “La, sir!” kind of writer. The letters show her daily and witty fascination with household management, social life, food, gossip, clothes, travel, family and money. The edition I read is published by OUP, and edited by Deidre de la Faye.

Joining the Dots: A Woman In Her Time

by Juliet Gardiner

Book cover for Joining the Dots: A Woman In Her Time

For any woman born before 1960, I would also recommend Juliet Gardiner’s Joining the Dots which is a history of all the legal and social and cultural changes that have happened in our - that is, female particularly - lifetimes. Riveting stuff.