INTERVIEWER Would you ever change a fact to heighten the drama? I aim to make the fiction flexible so that it bends itself around the facts as we have them. I suppose if I have a maxim, it is that there isn’t any necessary conflict between good history and good drama. The contradictions and the awkwardness—that’s what gives historical fiction its value. And allowing the reader to live with the ambiguities.
I know that history is not shapely, and I know the truth is often inconvenient and incoherent. You could cut a much better shape if you were God, but as it is, I think the whole fascination and the skill is in working those incoherencies. Thomas Cromwell is the character with whom that’s most essential. There’s the Cromwell in popular history and the one in academic history, and they don’t make any contact really.
There was a teacher from West Africa who was treated like a leper by all the teachers from southern Africa.Since then, Mantel has written a great deal about the female body, her own and others’.An essay that begins with a consideration of Kate Middleton’s wardrobe and moves on to a discussion of the royal body generated so much controversy that (as she told the , are not without darkness, but considering their subject—the bloody rise and fall of Henry VIII’s chief minister—they are remarkably vivid on the pleasures of work, home, and ordinary happiness.I don’t understand why they want to know but I don’t tell them anything. Often I am ill.” Four years later, Jack Mantel and Hilary’s mother moved the family to Cheshire, after which Hilary never saw her father again. In 1972, she married Gerald Mc Ewen, a geologist, and soon after, the couple moved to Botswana for five years, where Mantel wrote the book that became .To quote once more from “The story of my own childhood is a complicated sentence that I am always trying to finish, to finish and put behind me.” Mantel graduated from the University of Sheffield, with a B. The couple divorced in 1980, but in 1982 they married again, in front of a registrar, who wished them better luck this time.INTERVIEWER But the majority of human history is lost, isn’t it?