Header overlay
Giving up the Ghost (Plain Foxed Edition)
  • Pages: 232
  • Dimensions: 110 x 170mm
  • Illustrations: None
  • Publication date: 1 March 2023
  • Producer: Smith Settle
  • Genre: Memoir
  • Binding: Cloth hardback
  • Trimmings: Coloured endpapers; silk ribbon, head- & tailband; gold blocking to spine
  • NB: Unlimited Plain Foxed Edition
  • Foreword: Maggie Fergusson
Made in Britain

Giving up the Ghost (Plain Foxed Edition) - Release date: 1 March 2023

Hilary Mantel
From£18

SF Subscriber Prices

UK & Ireland £18 *save £2.00
Overseas £20 *save £2.00

Non-Subscriber Prices

UK & Ireland £20
Overseas £22
  • Gift wrap available
  • Pre-order. Release date: 1 March 2023
  • All prices include P&P. Overseas rates & subscriber discounts will be applied once you have selected a shipping type for each item during the checkout process.
  • Special price only available when ordering directly from Slightly Foxed
● If you are a current subscriber to the quarterly your basket will update to show any discounts before the payment page during checkout ● If you want to subscribe now and buy books or goods at the member rate please add a subscription to your basket before adding other items ● Gift wrap, messages and delivery instructions may be added during the checkout process ● If you need help please send us a message using the form in the bottom left of your screen and we’ll be in touch as soon as we’re back at our desks.

Hilary Mantel’s memoir Giving up the Ghost is the story of a life full of challenges, but it is very far from being a misery memoir. It is a compulsively readable and ultimately optimistic account of what made Hilary Mantel the writer she is, full of courage, insight and wry humour.

Mantel grew up in a working-class suburb of Manchester, a clever, imaginative little girl, alert to adult atmospheres and overheard, half-understood conversations, and to strange, inexplicable presences she sensed around her. Her Catholic primary school, with its casual brutality, was a rude awakening, and before she went to senior school life at home had become an emotional obstacle course too, after her gentle and rather scholarly father was supplanted by her tougher and less sympathetic stepfather Jack. By the time she became a law student in London Mantel had fallen in love with her future husband, and it was then that the gradual signs of a painful and long undiagnosed medical condition began to appear.

Perhaps the most powerful and shocking parts of Giving up the Ghost are her unsparingly honest, unselfpitying and grimly amusing accounts of her dealings with the medical profession. One result was that she was unable ever to have a child. But the daughter she had dreamed of haunted her imagination, and this little ghost, who was to have been named Catriona, is one of those she lays to rest. Another result was that she started writing. The rest, as they say, is history.

Hilary Mantel has said that this powerful and haunting book came about by accident. She never intended to write a memoir, but the sale of a much-loved cottage in Norfolk prompted her to write about the death of her stepfather, and from there ‘the whole story of my life began to unravel’. Giving up the Ghost is a story of ‘wraiths and phantoms’, a story not easy to forget.

‘Simply astonishing’ Guardian

‘A masterpiece of wit . . . [the] past, so thoroughly vanished, is made to live again here.’ Rachel Cusk

‘She is by turns facetious, matter-of-fact, visionary and comical but always totally riveting.’ Daily Telegraph



A Flickering on the Staircase

Read more

Comments & Reviews

Leave your review

Similar Items

Sign up to our e-newsletter

Sign up for dispatches about new issues, books and podcast episodes, highlights from the archive, events, special offers and giveaways.