2 minute read
11 Oct 2017
3:32 pm

British author Follett calls Brexit ‘absolute disaster’


British novelist Ken Follett, creator of the best-selling "Pillars of the Earth" series, on Wednesday called Brexit an "absolute disaster" and said the characters in his sweeping medieval saga would have been "remainers".

“The people of Kingsbridge would definitely be remainers. They’d hate the idea of Brexit,” 68-year-old Follett said at the Frankfurt Book Fair, where he presented the long-awaited third instalment in the series, “Column of Fire”.

More than 25 years after releasing his smash-hit “The Pillars of the Earth”, followed in 2007 by “World Without End”, Follett returns to the fictional medieval town of Kingsbridge for his latest epic, chronicling the political and religious upheavals during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Since its release last month, “Column of Fire” has topped best-seller lists worldwide, including in the United States, Britain, Germany and Spain.

Asked what he thought the main characters would have made of Britain’s decision to quit the European Union, Follett emphasised the town’s ties to the continent and the importance of free trade.

“It’s a trading city, they trade all over Europe. The Willard family has branches in Seville, Calais and Antwerp,” he said.

“And they would absolutely hate and loathe the idea of Brexit because it would be the end of their business.”

Welsh-born Follett recalled a passage in one of his books where a character was told by his parents to “learn at least a few words of any language you came across”.

“I’m a remainer,” added Follett, whose wife Barbara at one time served as a member of parliament for Britain’s Labour party, which campaigned to stay in the bloc.

“It’s no secret that I think Brexit is an absolute disaster,” Follett said.

A prolific writer of thrillers and historical novels, Follett has sold over 160 million books worldwide.

He revealed at the Frankfurt fair that he has been working on a new book since Christmas, but refused to spill the beans on its plot.

“Just in case I throw this story away, I’m not going to tell you what it’s about,” the silver-haired author chuckled.

But he said he was already thinking about adding a fourth book to the Kingsbridge series.

“Almost certainly there will be another Kingsbridge book, but I don’t know what that book will be about.”