'Her reading as a child was voracious, although her late start in learning to read for herself left her with a cosy taste for being read to. Her governess hads read aloud to her the story of Perseus and "Jungle Jinks" and most things in between. Once she read for herself, she had a passion for George Macdonald: his Curdie was one of her heroes. She loved Baroness Orczy's "Scarlet Pimpernel", and E. Nesbit's books. She read Dickens exhaustively as a child and, as a result, could not read him as a young adult: "There is no more oxygen left, for me, anywhere in the atmosphere of his writings".'