Cultural Life: Barbara Taylor Bradford, novelist


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The Independent Culture


I have just re-read Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. I enjoyed it even more the second time around. I seem to be addicted to history and just read Killing Lincoln (The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever) by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard. I found the second historical nonfiction by O'Reilly & Dugard: Killing Kennedy (The End of Camelot) very moving. I wept at the end because of the utter senselessness of JFK's untimely death.


I went to a private screening of Lincoln. My husband and I staggered out, having been swept away by the film. We felt we'd been in the presence of President Lincoln himself, so extraordinary was Daniel Day-Lewis's performance. I found Les Miserables slightly too long. Hugh Jackman made up for that.


I am a huge fan of Kiri Te Kanawa and particularly love her renditions of Verdi and Puccini. I always enjoy the three tenors Carreras, Domingo and Pavarotti.


When I'm not watching news programmes, I just can't resist Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey. I love country-house family sagas. I guess that's why I write them.

Barbara Taylor Bradford's novel 'Secrets from the Past' is published by HarperCollins on 28 February