Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Books of a Lifetime by Jennifer Kloester

Today we are pleased to have Jennifer Kloester here at Historical Tapestry to talk about her "Books of a Lifetime".

Welcome Jennifer!


Thanks for having me on your wonderful website and for the chance to talk about books. I love books and their power to transport me to another place and time, to move me and teach me and make me laugh or cry. I am in awe of the lasting power of words and the way in which books read in childhood and adolescence have not only stayed with me for years but also enriched my experience and even shaped my life. For example, much of my love of England can be directly traced to my childhood reading. Books such as Swallows and Amazons, Winter Holiday, Pigeon Post, The Wind in the Willows, Winnie-the-Pooh, Schoolgirl Honour, The Secret Garden, Ballet Shoes, The Little White Horse, Sherlock Holmes, Enid Blyton's Famous Five and Malory Towers series and John Buchan's The Thirty-Nine Steps each informed my youthful view of the world. As a child I loved adventure and mystery and romance and reveled in the possibility that the things done by the characters in these books were actually possible. I yearned for adventure and I found a vicarious satisfaction in the triumphs of Richard Hannay or the Fossil sisters or the Blackett children or Mole and Ratty and terrible Toad.

As I grew older I moved on to mystery and murder novels, though still with a civilized Englishness that I found reassuring. Dorothy L. Sayers' wonderful Peter Wimsey books with their literary allusions and intellectual interpolations in Latin and French captivated and intrigued me, while Agatha Christie proved to be perfect holiday reading whenever our family went camping. P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves novels, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, Robert Graves' Goodbye to All That and John Galsworthy's Forsythe Saga expanded my horizons in new directions as did the wonderful writing of Oscar Wilde, Nancy Mitford and Georgette Heyer. I love to laugh but it is a rare author who can make me laugh out loud and these three each do so in their own inimitable way. I especially love Georgette Heyer's Regency novels with their clever plots, witty dialogue and marvellous comic characters such as Jonathan Chawleigh in A Civil Contract, Augustus Fawnhope in The Grand Sophy, Ferdy in Friday's Child and Sir Nugent Fotherby in Sylvester (to name but a few).

My love of English literature and poetry enriched my childhood and sent me out into the world to seek my own adventures. I've found plenty of them and also plenty of marvellous new authors – and not just English ones either. Books like Mr Pip, The Help, The Hare with Amber Eyes, Perfume, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Elegance of the Hedgehog and The Tall Man have given me hours of reading pleasure and enriched my life in ways that are quite different to those experienced via my childhood reading – though they are no less potent. Each new book is a new adventure and, even now, I still love an adventure!

Jennifer Kloester is the author of two books about one of our favourites here at Historical Tapestry - Georgette Heyer. You can find out more about Jennifer and her books at her website.


  1. Thank you for an interesting interview.

  2. Wonderful to read about the books that made you fall in love with England and English literature. I think my own love of it came from reading Pride & Prejudice and went from there.

  3. Oh! I acquired it right here. In fact immense employment through the content. I adore this way to job on. I will argue with my dearest and nearest concerning the subject. Sure, I will hang around for more posts like this. Thanks a lot……..