#TPQ5

#TPQ5: FRANCESCA GARDNER

James Baldwin

Baldwin’s novels are so engrossing, but I try to resist the urge to tear through them because every word deserves respect and attention. Go Tell It on the Mountain left me speechless.

Julian of Norwich

Medieval mysticism is fascinating, and Revelations of Divine Love is a beautiful and special book.

John Clare

I didn’t realise a Romantic poet had lived only 10 miles away from me until, ironically, I was introduced to Clare 100 miles away at university. Place is central to his poetry, and it’s made me realise that there’s a lot to love about where I’m from.

George Herbert

Whenever I find myself thinking too hard about literature I return to Herbert’s poetry. It always brings to mind a Monet quote, and encourages me to meditate on the quote’s implications: ‘everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.’

Rainer Maria Rilke

I read Rilke’s poems at night and they unfold like moonflowers, surprising and inevitable at once. ‘Abend’ was the first poem by any poet I ever read, and it is still my favourite.


Francesca Gardner, from a small town in the English county of Lincolnshire, is currently in her third year studying English at Magdalen College, Oxford. She enjoys reading Late Medieval and Romantic literature. Find her on Twitter here: @frankiegracex.

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