Joanna Trollope: We’re not a particularly literary nation

Best-selling author Joanna Trollope has said there is not enough focus on literature in the UK.

Our culture “possibly doesn’t allow enough time” for the art form, she said, after being presented with a CBE, adding: “We’re not regarded as a particularly literary nation.”

The novelist, who has written more than 40 books, said her honour is an acknowledgement that literature is “an extraordinarily important part of our heritage”.

She said: “We are very good at law and medicine and administration but we are not possibly quite as culturally conscious as we might be and this is very important.

“Culture can often do a diplomacy when more conventional mediums can’t, particularly political.”

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Joanna Trollope is presented with her CBE for services to literature by the Duke of Cambridge (Jonathan Brady/PA)

She added that she was “terribly pleased” that her honour was for services to literature and “not charity and things, of which I do quite a lot”.

The City Of Friends author was joined at the ceremony at Buckingham Palace by her two daughters and son-in-law.

Her family are “absolutely delighted” by the honour, she said, adding: “We will go and celebrate in a rather more liquid, cheerful way afterwards.”

After being presented with the honour by the Duke of Cambridge, she said: “I am terribly pleased it was him.

“I think he does these ceremonies absolutely beautifully.”

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