WHAT BOOK would Lynda La Plante take to a desert island?

WHAT BOOK would author and former actress Lynda La Plante take to a desert island?

  • Lynda La Plante would is currently reading Napoleon by Frank McLynn, a biography about the French general
  • READ MORE: My life through a lens: Author and screenwriter Lynda La Plante, 79, shares the stories behind her favourite snaps

. . . are you reading now?

Napoleon by Frank McLynn. It is so much more than a biography, as McLynn writes from the perspective of the seven-year- old child, educated by Jesuit priests, a brilliant mathematician who continued his academic abilities and training to exemplary measures.

It follows his life to the ruins of imperial grandeur and his marriage to Empress Josephine, who I did not know was Creole, then goes on to his slow death by arsenic poisoning on the bleak inhospitable Island of St Helena. It is a great volume and a fascinating read.

. . . would you take to a desert island?

I would take the complete volumes of William Shakespeare — including his sonnets. Although I have acted in many of the bard’s plays, there are so many more I would want to enjoy reading, as his brilliance remains astonishing.

I might also like an English dictionary as it would be so educational!

Lynda La Plante (pictured) would is currently reading Napoleon by Frank McLynn, a biography about the French general

. . . first gave you the reading bug?

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. During a school trip to visit the family parsonage, I was astonished to see its actual size. In recent times an extension has been added, but I was there when it was in its original state.

The wallpaper reminded me of a Laura Ashley design. It was all very neat and tidy, but made me think of lots of questions; some remain unanswered still.

You see, in that rather small parsonage, and at the peak of what would have been their formative years, there were three adult women, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, living there.

There was also a large overweight cook and cleaner and a 12-year-old helper. The Bronte’s domineering father, Patrick, always ate alone in his study.

Then there was the drug-addicted, alcoholic, eccentric brother Branwell. The women remained mostly in the small drawing room writing and studying, where they ate their meals together on a table they always had to clear afterwards.

At this time there was no running water and a pump was used in the small yard outside the kitchen.

There was also no toilet; a privy was built a short distance from the back kitchen door. So since that school trip, it has been a persistent and subsequent fascination regarding the vivid imagination of all the three women, cloistered together and each writing their incredible novels.

And of them all, Emily’s depiction of the wild moors remains my favourite read.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte first gave author Linda the reading bug, she tells the Daily Mail

. . . left you cold?

Sigrid Undset by Kristin Lavransdatter. I was supposed to read this novel and write an essay for an A-level examination.

I was unable to wade through it back then, and I have attempted it a couple more times, but I find it impossible to digest as it is very complicated.

And an added problem for me is that it has exceedingly small print!

Taste Of Blood by Lynda La Plante is out now (Zaffre £22).

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