In 2020, my lockdown treat to myself was Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light, the final instalment in her trilogy charting the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell. Yesterday, Mantel’s death was announced. This post by Brian D Butler of Travel Between the Pages seems to me a fine tribute to her writing, and an introduction to it for anyone who hasn’t yet read any of her work.
I was sad to read of the passing of the great English author Hilary Mantel. Here in the colonies we became acquainted with her powerful prose through the Wolf Hall trilogy. I thought that I would share this piece from Hilary Mantel’s essay “Blot, Erase, Delete,” published in Index on Censorship, Vol. 45, Issue 3, 2016.
It has always been axiomatic that when the dying speak, they cannot lie. I knew a man whose mother told him, as she lay dying, who his real father was: like a woman in a Victorian melodrama. She might as well have climbed out of bed and kicked his feet from under him. The truth was far too late to do him any good, and just in time to plunge him into misery and confusion and the complex grief of a double loss. Some truths have a sell-by date. Some should not be uttered…
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