Duchess of Cornwall reveals her dream dining companions from the world of literature

That’s some dinner party! Duchess of Cornwall reveals her dream dining companions from the world of literature … including the Count of Monte Cristo and Pride And Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennet

  • Top of Camilla’s list is Alexandre Dumas’ legendary Count of Monte Cristo
  • Then followed by Mrs Danvers from Daphne du Maurier’s novel Rebecca
  • She would also have guest Count Fosco from Wilkie Collins’ The Woman In White
  • Another guest would be her ‘heroine’ Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice
  • Final guest would be Uncle Matthew from Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love

She has held more dinner parties than most of us have had hot meals – and the Duchess of Cornwall’s dream literary guest list would liven up any gathering.

Top of the list of Camilla’s self-confessed ‘quite extraordinary mixture’ is Alexandre Dumas’ legendary Count of Monte Cristo, followed by the dour Mrs Danvers from Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel Rebecca.

She would also plump for Count Fosco from Wilkie Collins’ The Woman In White and her ‘heroine’ – Jane Austen’s feisty Elizabeth Bennet from Pride And Prejudice.

She has held more dinner parties than most of us have had hot meals – and the Duchess of Cornwall’s dream literary guest list would liven up any gathering

Top of the list of Camilla's self-confessed 'quite extraordinary mixture' is Alexandre Dumas' legendary Count of Monte Cristo

Top of the list of Camilla’s self-confessed ‘quite extraordinary mixture’ is Alexandre Dumas’ legendary Count of Monte Cristo

The final fantasy guest would be Uncle Matthew from Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit Of Love. She revealed her choices in an interview with author Daisy Buchanan, saying: ‘[There are] a lot more people I’d like to have but I think that would be a very good mixture. ‘

She was publishing The Duchess of Cornwall’s Reading Room online and on Instagram, the book club she started during the first Covid lockdown, sharing some of her favorite recommendations. It has since attracted more than 130,000 social media followers and a raft of high-profile supporters including actress Dame Judi Dench.

Asked about why she thought literacy and reading was so important for young people, the duchess said: ‘Obviously you’ve got to learn to read first because if you can not read, how are you going to get on in life? The earlier you can learn, the better. ‘

She would also plump for Count Fosco from Wilkie Collins' The Woman In White and her 'heroine' - Jane Austen's feisty Elizabeth Bennet from Pride And Prejudice.  Pictured: Adaptation of The Woman in White featuring Jessie Buckley as Marian and Ricardo Scamarcio as Count Fosco

She would also plump for Count Fosco from Wilkie Collins’ The Woman In White and her ‘heroine’ – Jane Austen’s feisty Elizabeth Bennet from Pride And Prejudice. Pictured: Adaptation of The Woman in White featuring Jessie Buckley as Marian and Ricardo Scamarcio as Count Fosco

Camilla would also have Mrs Danvers from Daphne du Maurier's 1938 novel Rebecca as a guest.  Pictured: Kristin Scott Thomas as Mrs Danvers in a 2020 adaptation of Rebecca

Camilla would also have Mrs Danvers from Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel Rebecca as a guest. Pictured: Kristin Scott Thomas as Mrs Danvers in a 2020 adaptation of Rebecca

She added: ‘I think that’s very much a parent’s job, to get children reading very young by reading to them.

‘Because however young you are, you absorb stories. The more stories you absorb, the more interested you’re going to be in the future.

‘I think for everybody, to read a story can take you into so many different worlds.

‘You can go to places you thought you’d never get to. You can go to different countries. However difficult things are, you can get away from them and go into your own world for a bit.

Asked about why she thought literacy and reading was so important for young people, the duchess said: 'Obviously you've got to learn to read first because if you can not read, how are you going to get on in life?  The earlier you can learn, the better. '  Pictured: Kate Oates (left), the Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales and Chris Clenshaw (right) during a visit to the set of EastEnders at the BBC studios in Elstree, Hertfordshire

Asked about why she thought literacy and reading was so important for young people, the duchess said: ‘Obviously you’ve got to learn to read first because if you can not read, how are you going to get on in life? The earlier you can learn, the better. ‘ Pictured: Kate Oates (left), the Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales and Chris Clenshaw (right) during a visit to the set of EastEnders at the BBC studios in Elstree, Hertfordshire

‘Just take yourself away from everything that’s annoying you and read a book. I think it’s the most therapeutic thing you can do. ‘

The duchess continued: ‘After lockdown, especially, when we were all in a world we did not understand. What better than to reach for a book? So many people have started reading again which is really good news. ‘

Camilla also revealed the books currently on her bedside table, admitting that she had a ‘huge pile’ she was trying to work her way through.

They include City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert; Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway; and George III by Andrew Roberts.

She said her Desert Island book would be Elizabeth Jane Howard’s The Cazalet Chronicles.

‘I love a saga and they’re so beautifully written,’ she said.

Camilla also revealed the books currently on her bedside table, admitting that she had a 'huge pile' she was trying to work her way through

Camilla also revealed the books currently on her bedside table, admitting that she had a ‘huge pile’ she was trying to work her way through

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