Michael Morpurgo Recommends

Headshot of Michael Morpurgo with a blue circular graphic that reads "Michael Morpurgo (French and English, 1967) Recommends"

[This article is from the Autumn/Winter 2018 issue of InTouch, your alumni magazine]

Michael Morpurgo is a British author, best known for novels such as War Horse, which has been adapted into award-winning West End and Broadway productions.

Michael and his wife Clare set up the charity Farms for City Children in 1976. The charity offers urban children the opportunity to live and work on a real farm in the heart of the countryside. Passionate about the environment, his work traverses historical events, natural history and climate change. Michael was knighted in the 2018 New Year Honours for services to literature and charity.

Favourite piece of music

There are lots – Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate, Thomas Tallis’ Spem in Alium and Buddy Holly’s Words of Love because my wife loves it. I also like The Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun – a great song full of hope.

Treasured childhood memory

I remember once making wax candles with my brother Pieter in our bedroom. I think they were presents for the family. There are lots of special memories of my mother who used to read to my brother and I sitting on our beds at night. She was an actress, so could do all the voices, and made the stories and poems she loved come to life.

Best piece of advice

Given to me by poet and children’s author Ted Hughes, about writing. Don’t start until you are sure you can finish. I try to stick to it.

Biggest achievement

I can’t really take all the credit for it as it was really my wife Clare’s idea. But it would be setting up the charity we founded over 40 years ago. Farms for City Children enables children from inner-city schools to come to the countryside to become farmers for a week. It’s our best story.

Standout memory of King’s

It’s of Professor Garmondsway, who would sit on the desk and read from 14th-century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. He read with such passion and intensity that it kept alive my early childhood love of stories.

Keep up to date with Michael on his website.

Michael Morpurgo’s latest book In the Mouth of the Wolf is out now (Egmont, £12.99).