Hilary Mantel, the queen of historical novels, dies


England has lost two queens in no time. After the death of Elizabeth IIenglish writer Hillary Mantle He died this Friday at the age of 70. Her trilogy on Thomas Cromwell (over 2,000 pages of historical fiction about the reign of Henry VIII and the man who placed her in power) propelled her to fame and made her the queen of contemporary historical fiction. A path which was slow to find but which brought him innumerable literary and economic benefits. She is the only woman to win the Booker Prize for Best Novel of the Year in the English Language twice: in 2009. in the wolf’s court and in 2012 a queen on stage, both published in Spanish by Destino. “We are devastated by the death of our beloved writer Hilary Mantle. We can only be grateful for the wonderful work she left us,” its editor Bill Hamilton said in a statement. Mantel was suffering from chronic health problems And had been battling the constant pain and chronic fatigue from endometriosis for a long time.

thunder in the statePublished in 2020, there was a great ending of the trilogy which earned him critical acclaim and public success, a work that took him seven years, an epic retelling of the final part of Cromwell’s life, a book that, like the previous one, combines historical rigor with rhythm. Thriller, “I’ve written so much already. I’ve had 12 volumes of scenes. I’m so absorbed I hardly even know who I am. I love the material so much that I can’t even think of the moment when satisfy my curiosity.” Assured in an interview in 2016In full preparation for what will be his last book. A great painter of the Tudor era, however, he was not very interested in the more superficial aspects of royalty, pomp and luxury. Nor was he interested in current affairs, although he defined himself as a “deeply political” writer. His point is, rather, the dark corners of history were depicted in detail with characters that are already part of the collective imagination.

Born in Derbyshire (England) in July 1952 to a family of Irish descent, her life as a child and youth was marked by the fact of being “a woman from the north and poor”, as she collected in her memoirs. did. give a ghost(Moving to a Better Life) published in 2003. part of that experience was reflected in love experiment, A 1995 novel (in Spain it was published in 2016, sheltered from the success of its historical novel), about three young women who struggle to break through. “Winning so many awards and selling so many books has changed my life, even if it has had the opposite effect. On the one hand my work supports me, I don’t need any supplemental income. And it helps On the other hand, publicity and attention in the media has become a more important part of my life. But whatever happens, my inner system is determined by the mission. I always go for the next sentence and what I do for the day I am making it day by day, I am absorbed in it”, Recognized in an interview in EL PAÍS in 2020, The success of the three novels was carried over to stage adaptations and then to television, in a series produced by the BBC and starring Damien Lewis and Claire Foy.

Mantle studied law at the London School of Economics and the University of Sheffield and spent time as a social worker. After living in Botswana with her husband, geologist Gerald McEwen, for five years, the couple divorced, something the author has always attributed to infertility resulting from her illness and the treatment she received. Years later he remarried and McEwen has been his assistant for many years. After some difficult beginnings in which he could not find a publisher for a novel about the French Revolution, a visionary work that anticipated his later immersion in the dark chapters of Henry VIII’s reign, Mantel completed his work in the mid-eighties. start up every day is mother’s day (every day is Mother’s Day) which they followed glass cageAn oppressive story inspired by years of living in Saudi Arabia and the beginning of his slow but steady rise in the literary universe before returning to the UK in the mid-1980s.

Faith and Contradiction

His commitment to his literary mission was unwavering. His credit was brief, though it worked well as a short story for the 900-page novel: “Focus on what you want to say and say it as directly and strictly as possible. Eating meat.” He drinks blood (…) Get up in the quiet hours of the night, bite your fingers and use blood as ink. It will take away your taste of chattering, ”he said in his memoirs. He turned 12. Abandoned his Catholicism at an early age, his work was imbued with ethics, not morality.

In the midst of preparing the third part of his trilogy, the seven years that were filled with doubts and conflicts, the British struck him. story book Margaret Thatcher murder (Fate, 2015) which, among other stories, includes a recreation of the attack against the Prime Minister, in just over 30 pages, which took almost 30 years. A literary paradox: A woman capable of writing 900 pages of intense historical fiction was stuck with stories. “With fiction I know I can make it work. But a short story has a more delicate mechanism, for me it relies on sudden revelation. The story of Mrs. Thatcher convinced me several times that it would work. I could… but then I would wear it and feel like I was forcing something,” she explained in 2020. His work is made up of 17 books in between. Writing novels, sets of stories and non-fiction.

In Mantel’s novels, there is no stomach, as in life’s final destination. The narrative seeks historical probability and it is within the historical characters (and in some invented ones, such as Cromwell’s The Glorious Cook) where the narrative unfolds. His works are full of facts, memories, ghosts. Yours today is visited by Cromwell, Thomas More or Cardinal Wosley, an essential part of their monstrous plot on the Tudors. He certainly has many stories to tell.

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