We can’t profess to have much in common with Duchess of Cambridge, Kate, on the surface of things.
But a photo of Duchess Kate makes us believe that we have more in common than we think.
On 29 March, Kensington Palace shared a photograph of Duchess Kate on the phone with Catherine Roche, CEO of Place2Be. Her desk was as natural as you might anticipate. A sneak-peek of the inside of Catherine’s Kensington Palace office — highlighting her aesthetically pleasant book set — initially gave us interiors envy. But more recently has been urging supporters to share how many of Kate Middleton’s favourite books they have read.
Though the book collection isn’t huge, it gives us a touch for the classics that the Duchess favours. This includes a series of classic romances and tales that point to by-gone eras. So, how many have you read? We’ll absolutely be discussing our mutual love if we ever get to meet the Cambridge family.
Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
There’s nothing more soothing to read now than an Austen novel, and the Duchess has three within easy reach on her desk: the British author’s magnum opus Sense & Sensibility, as well as her slightly lesser-known (but no less brilliant) classics Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park.
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
As a general rule, Thomas Hardy’s novels are best avoided while self-isolating – do not, under any circumstances, pick up Jude the Obscure right now – but Tess of the D’Urbervilles is essential reading for all bibliophiles. Just make sure you have tissues in the house.
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The Sonnets & A Lover’s Complaint by William Shakespeare
Perhaps the Duchess heard that Shakespeare allegedly wrote his greatest plays, including King Lear, while under quarantine due to a bout of plague?
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Middlemarch is a commitment, but it’s one that’s more than worth making. As soon as you finish (and have got through debating the conclusion with everyone in earshot), read Zadie Smith’s essay, “Middlemarch and Everybody”, in her collection Changing My Mind, for a beautiful explanation of why Eliot’s classic still matters so deeply.
The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde’s only novel is witty and devastating in equal measure. Not to mention a powerful meditation on the relationship between life and art.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
One of the greatest love stories ever written, Emily Brontë’s moorland-set Gothic romance is wholly engrossing and never quite leaves you, with everyone from Ernest Hemingway to Joan Didion listing it as one of their favourite novels.
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
“Mr Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!” Nothing is more distracting than a good mystery novel. Enter Arthur Conan Doyle, whose third Sherlock Holmes story will transport you to Dartmoor, where Holmes and Watson are trying to solve a decidedly peculiar murder.
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
One of Dickens’s longest works, Bleak House centres on a legal dispute in the now-defunct Court of Chancery – and the incredibly complex family drama it brings to light.
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
If nothing else, Evelyn Waugh’s paean to the lost world of the British aristocracy before the Great War will make you feel decidedly better about your own family relationships.
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