Tag Archives: Hilary mantel

The Best Conversations

Hilary Mantel reflects on her friendship with Elizabeth Jane Howard

No doubt the best conversations are those that never quite occur. I sensed that we both lived in hope, and had frequently lived on it. I always felt there was something I should ask her, or something she meant to ask me. . . . In Jane’s novels, the timid lose their scripts, the bold forget their lines, but a performance, somehow, is scrambled together; heads high, hearts sinking, her characters head out into the dazzle of circumstance. Every phrase is improvised and every breath a risk. . .

Elizabeth Jane Howard:Hilary Mantel on the novelist she tells everyone to read. The Guardian 30/1/2016

(from here) 

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Installing a policeman

She [Hilary Mantel] lost her religious faith at age 12 and says that this left a permanent mark on her: the “real cliche, the sense of guilt. You grow up believing that you’re wrong and bad. And for me, because I took what I was told really seriously, it bred a very intense habit of introspection and self-examination and a terrible severity with myself. So that nothing was ever good enough. It’s like installing a policeman, and one moreover who keeps changing the law.




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The things you think are the disasters in your life are not the disasters really. Almost anything can be turned around: out of every ditch, a path, if you can only see it. Hilary Mantel, Bring Up The Bodies

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