Buy our selection of four Hilary Mantel books together for a small discount.
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’, and of a life full of challenges, but it is very far from being a misery memoir. Rather 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.
In 1987, when Hilary Mantel was first published in the London Review of Books, she wrote to the editor, ‘I have no critical training whatsoever, so I am forced to be more brisk and breezy than scholarly.’ This collection of twenty reviews, essays and pieces of memoir cover a wide range of subjects including Robespierre and Danton, the Hite report, Saudi Arabia (where she lived in the 1980s), Britain’s last witch, the Virgin Mary and the pop icon Madonna, as well as pieces about Jane Boleyn, Charles Brandon, Christopher Marlowe and Margaret Pole, which display Mantel’s insight into the Tudor mind.
Hilary Mantel’s epic novel of the French Revolution. Georges-Jacques Danton is zealous, energetic and debt-ridden. Maximilien Robespierre is small, diligent and terrified of violence. And Camille Desmoulins is a genius of rhetoric, yet also erratic and untrustworthy. As these key figures of the French Revolution taste the addictive delights of power, the darker side of the period’s political ideals is unleashed.
This coming-of-age tale follows Carmel McBain as she cuts free from her childhood roots in Lancashire and starts university in London in 1970. Among the gossiping, flirtatious girls of Tonbridge Hall, she begins her experiments in life and love. The year turns, the mini-skirt falls out of style and an era of concealment begins. Hilary Mantel is a darkly inventive storyteller, and tragedy lies in wait.
‘‘I was so glad to hear An Experiment in Love by Hilary Mantel praised . . . Hilary Mantel’s early novels get overlooked now and it is one of the joys of Slightly Foxed that it highlights areas like this.’’ G. Woodman, Belfast
A Flickering on the StaircaseRead more
Raising the Dead
Someone must have recommended it. Otherwise there’s no way, twenty years ago, I’d have picked up an 880-page book about the French Revolution. Even a novel. But I did pick up Hilary Mantel’s A...Read more
Giving up the Ghost in The New York Times | 50 Best Memoirs
Mantel . . . writes . . . with a fine ear and a furious intelligence, as she resurrects phantoms who ‘shiver between the lines.’Read more