Bestselling author Jeffrey Archer, 80, (pictured) has shared some of the items of personal significance on display in the clifftop writing room of his Majorca home
1. BRONZE WINNER
I write the first drafts of my books here by pen each winter because it’s so light and warm.
I’m a mad collector of paintings, sculpture, pottery and silver, but this bronze on my desk – Girl Reading, by the great Sydney Harpley – is a favourite, and it inspires me.
I championed him when he was in his 30s, but he died tragically from cancer in 1992 aged just 64.
2. COMETH THE HOUR
My wife Mary gave me this hourglass from Garrard jewellers, and I use it to time my two-hour writing sessions, which I stick to religiously – it stops me cheating!
I start at 6am and work until 8am, then I do three more sessions through the day, with a break for a lunchtime walk. My new book went through 14 drafts.
Also displayed with pride in his writing room is this smiley portrait created by Archer’s granddaughter Vivien
3. SWEET ART
This smiley girl was made by Vivien, my granddaughter. I think she’s a great beauty but I’m told I’m prejudiced.
The creation beside it on the desk is by my grandson Alexander, and I also have a beetle and a fish made by my sons James and William when they were little.
A third grandchild, Sofia, arrived in lockdown and it was wonderful when we were finally able to meet her.
4. HAUNTING PORTRAIT
Taken in 1985, this photo of a refugee, The Afghan Girl, is a work of genius. The staring green eyes are amazing.
I bought it directly from the photographer, Steve McCurry, and we had lunch to celebrate.
The girl was very young at the time, and he tracked her down and photographed her again nearly two decades later.
I bought that too, and the pictures remind you how lucky you are – she had such a hard life that by the time of the second photo she looked old and broken.
Archer has a picture of his wife Mary on his desk, wearing her favourite dress
5. WEDDING BELLE
Mary is pictured here at our son James’s wedding in 2005 in one of her favourite dresses.
The ‘Twirly Whirly’ she calls it, and it was designed by Bruce Oldfield.
She still has the dress – she doesn’t get rid of anything, and I’m the classic example of that.
6. REMARK-ABEL FEAT!
There have been 100 editions of my third novel, Kane And Abel – and this framed list was created to celebrate that fact, with beautiful lettering by the remarkable craftsman Mark Bury.
You never know why a book takes off, but my agent decided to auction the publishing rights 40 years ago and it went for £3.2 million.
I’ve been very fortunate ever since – ideas keep coming to me.
Hidden In Plain Sight by Jeffrey Archer is published by Pan Macmillan in hardback on 29 October, priced £20.