Brought to book: Bridget Phillipson MP

Written by Bridget Phillipson MP on 18 November 2013 in Culture
The Labour whip lets us in on her reading habits

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

What’s your least favourite?

I’ve always felt conflicted about Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisted. I couldn’t put it down, but found it profoundly depressing.

What’s your favourite political biography?

A Woman of Vision by Marian Goronwy-Roberts on the life of Marion Phillips. She was the first woman to represent Sunderland in Parliament, a leading figure in the Labour Party in 1920s and were it not for her premature death in 1932, she would have achieved more still.

Whom would you like to write a political biography about?

I enjoy political biographies tremendously, but if I were to write a book, I doubt I'd want to write a biography. Many of the figures I find most interesting have been the subject of excellent biographies and I'd rather pick something to write about where I felt I could add something new and with a slightly broader focus.

What was your favourite children’s book?

The Chronicles of Narnia series by CS Lewis. They are timeless and I imagine I'll be reading them to my own daughter before too long.

What’s the most inspiring book you have ever read?

'Inspiring' perhaps isn't quite the right word, but a book that made a deep impression on me when I read it was Great Expectations.

What’s your favourite political novel?

George Orwell's 1984.

Name the most significant book of the last 10 years

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

What would you like to write a book about?

I'd love to have the chance to research and write a book about one of the things that fascinate me: perhaps the growth of the labour movement in the north east as the industrial revolution gathered pace, or the later history of imperial Rome. But I don't think I could surpass Peter Heather's The Fall of the Roman Empire – masterful.

Which fictional character would you be?

I love Stella Rimington's spy novels and the main character Liz Carlyle. I hope they're serialised for television. ■

Bridget Phillipson is Labour MP for Houghton and Sunderland South and an opposition whip

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