Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Hilary Mantel / Duchess of Cambridge

User avatar
Lisa
Bibliophile
Posts: 1153
Joined: August 2012
Favourite HF book: Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
Preferred HF: Any time period/location. Timeslip, usually prefer female POV. Also love Gothic melodrama.
Location: Northeast Scotland

Hilary Mantel / Duchess of Cambridge

Post by Lisa » Tue February 19th, 2013, 2:37 pm

Hilary Mantel is fairly getting blasted by the press for her recent comments on the Duchess of Cambridge at the London Review of Books Lecture.

BBC story
Transcript of Mantel's speech

Funny, in the BBC article Prime Minister David Cameron is quoted as referring to the Duchess as "Princess Kate". There's a Daily Mail article too but as usual it's ridiculously bad.

The quotes, as reported out of context, do seem pretty harsh, and I'm not sure that in expressing her point Mantel remembered that the Duchess is actually human and does have feelings too. I see where it fits in with her overall argument and don't think she meant to hurt anyone's feelings - and it's probably what a lot of people are actually thinking! - but I don't think getting so personal about a living public figure was the best idea, and comparing Kate to Diana just isn't necessary in my opinion.

User avatar
LoveHistory
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3751
Joined: September 2008
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Contact:

Post by LoveHistory » Wed February 20th, 2013, 2:09 am

She should have thought it out better. It's not as bad in context but she should have considered the fact that we live in a soundbite world, and the wording could have been tweaked to reflect that understanding.

rebecca
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 798
Joined: July 2011

Post by rebecca » Wed February 20th, 2013, 3:33 am

"I stared at her. I am ashamed now to say it but I passed my eyes over her as a cannibal views his dinner, my gaze sharp enough to pick the meat off her bones. I felt that such was the force of my devouring curiosity that the party had dematerialised and the walls melted and there were only two of us in the vast room, and such was the hard power of my stare that Her Majesty turned and looked back at me, as if she had been jabbed in the shoulder; and for a split second her face expressed not anger but hurt bewilderment."

To be honest when I read this piece, I had the impression that Hilary Mantel feels as if she must prove her intellectual prowess to everyone. The author is gifted and highly intelligent and I loved her books on Cromwell and look forward to the final one.

Her wording is a veritable feast for the eye an elaborate banquet of sumptuous proportions where onlookers salivate over every word expressed, while others with bated breath gather up the crumbs as if they were gold carelessly tossed aside by the grand matriarch of words.

I read the piece with interest, but unlike history one cannot interpret the present. Who is Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge? I don't know and neither does Hilary Mantel. When you mention the late Princess of Wales, The Queen and the Duchess of Cambridge in one newspaper article your piece will be noted and it will traverse the cyber universe of PCs and IPads which includes the hacks who will then pick at the bones like jackals on a carcass.

I think Hilary wanted this much attention and she is certainly getting it. The lady is clever therefore she would have chewed over every delectable word, savouring its taste like a Michelin star Chef before sharing it with the hordes.

I get a little disgruntled when an author mistakes what the press write as if they were speaking for the majority. The people are not the press. I don't view royalty as exhibits at a zoo that must perform tricks to entertain the mindless masses. I am also discerning in what I choose to buy and read, so the cult of personality has not turned my brain to mush.

There will also be many who will misinterpret the irony in her article; it will float over many heads like feathers in the wind. Does the Queen know who Hilary Mantel is? If she were a horse most definitely, but a Booker prize winning author, probably not. This does not make the queen stupid, just human, she has her interests but books are not one of them.

Do we really know the Royal personages who hide behind benign smiles and float into our lives via the television screens and who now and again wave at us from their balcony? No.

In the end history will inform us of who these Royal figures were and the impact they made while authors will add salt for extra flavour with a little spoonful of myth and a touch of truth to spice things along.

And as for "We are all Barbara Cartland now." Perish the thought and banish the Plebs. :p

Bec :)

User avatar
SonjaMarie
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 5688
Joined: August 2008
Location: Vashon, WA
Contact:

Post by SonjaMarie » Wed February 20th, 2013, 4:09 am

And Barbara was Diana's step grandmother-in-law.

SM
The Lady Jane Grey Internet Museum
My Booksfree Queue

Original Join Date: Mar 2006
Previous Amount of Posts: 2,517
Books Read In 2014: 109 - June: 17 (May: 17)
Full List Here: http://www.historicalfictiononline.com/ ... p?p=114965

annis
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Wed February 20th, 2013, 7:01 am

In a slow news week this one has really put the cat among the pigeons. Mantel is actually sympathetic to the media depersonalisation of a figure as much in the public eye as the Duchess, but her words are so incisive and the irony so subtle that they were bound to be misinterpreted and the subject of shock! horror! comments from the very type of sensational media Mantel is taking a sly shot at. And putting yourself in the position of being seen as "having a go" at the sacred cow of the British Monarchy is either very brave or suicidal. As one person commented- "No more Bookers for Mantel, then!"

User avatar
Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 5790
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: "The Sicilian Method" by Andrea Camilleri
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime, dual time-frame
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Wed February 20th, 2013, 9:30 am

[quote=""annis""]In a slow news week this one has really put the cat among the pigeons. Mantel is actually sympathetic to the media depersonalisation of a figure as much in the public eye as the Duchess, but her words are so incisive and the irony so subtle that they were bound to be misinterpreted and the subject of shock! horror! comments from the very type of sensational media Mantel is taking a sly shot at. And putting yourself in the position of being seen as "having a go" at the sacred cow of the British Monarchy is either very brave or suicidal. As one person commented- "No more Bookers for Mantel, then!"[/quote]

I thought that too ;) I do think her words have been taken out of context, and I agree with her up to a point, although she could have perhaps been a bit more tactful.

Not quite sure why she's so venomous about stacking chairs though :rolleyes: , she's definitely being very clever.
Currently reading: "The Sicilian Method" by Andrea Camilleri

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4298
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Post by Vanessa » Wed February 20th, 2013, 11:22 am

Diana and Charles were no love match - that marriage was definitely to produce an heir. I do think William and Kate are different and are genuinely fond of each other. And I don't think Kate is without personality.

Hilary Mantel's words were taken out of context, but you always have to be careful what you say especially in the public eye.
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

User avatar
Divia
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4435
Joined: August 2008
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Post by Divia » Wed February 20th, 2013, 3:23 pm

Taken what out of context? Sounds to me that Ms. Mantel thinks Kate is dull as tombs and all fake. Or rather made up by the palace to say and do things a certain way.

And now I see her books are up in sales due to her words. :rolleyes: Even bad press is good press I suppose.

While she is quick to point out Kate's personality, perhaps one should be careful. She is by far no beauty, with scarecrow hair, horrid teeth and even professional shots make her unflattering. I suppose we all have our burdens.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.
http://yabookmarks.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 5790
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: "The Sicilian Method" by Andrea Camilleri
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime, dual time-frame
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Wed February 20th, 2013, 3:41 pm

I think we're talking about historical context, in that royal women were basically brood mares to provide an heir and a spare. I do think Kate and William are a love match and they seem a genuine couple, but ultimately they have to keep the line going!
Currently reading: "The Sicilian Method" by Andrea Camilleri

User avatar
Lisa
Bibliophile
Posts: 1153
Joined: August 2012
Favourite HF book: Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
Preferred HF: Any time period/location. Timeslip, usually prefer female POV. Also love Gothic melodrama.
Location: Northeast Scotland

Post by Lisa » Wed February 20th, 2013, 3:56 pm

[quote=""rebecca""]
I think Hilary wanted this much attention and she is certainly getting it. The lady is clever therefore she would have chewed over every delectable word, savouring its taste like a Michelin star Chef before sharing it with the hordes.
[/quote]

There's a point, I was being a bit naive there and it didn't occur to me that she did it deliberately, with the consequent press attention in mind. If it's true that "any publicity is good publicity", I can see that cultivating an image of being a) controversial and outspoken and b) good with words would help boost sales of an author's work!

Post Reply

Return to “Chat”