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Me and My Icons

20 of 34 nominations

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Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw Puzzles

A novelist who encapsulates what it is like to live in England, it’s one of the pastimes of the quirky English character that she turns to for her nomination.

“Jigsaw puzzles have always struck me as a peculiarly English invention and indeed they do seem to have originated here, in c.1760, with John Spilsbury’s educational geography puzzles. As a nation we love these puzzles, particularly when they show attractive rural scenery of thatched cottages or Scotland in the snow or ships at sea. We also love jigsaws of iconic works of art like Constable’s Hay Wain. Icons within icons, icons of icons, as it were. Jigsaws are harmless and educational. Famous English jigsaw puzzle fanatics have included Doris Lessing, Georgette Heyer, Queen Elizabeth the Second, and my Auntie Phyl.”

Read more about and vote on jigsaws.

Image of Margaret Drabble © Sam Green

Jigsaw Puzzles

Margaret Drabble CBE

Novelist, biographer and critic

The author of 15 novels, Margaret Drabble has also written short stories, non-fiction, biographies, screenplays and plays, and since 1985 she has been editor of 'The Oxford Companion to English Literature'. Married to the biographer Michael Holroyd, she has three children and lives in London and Somerset.