Hilary Mantel’s Reith Lectures 2017

Hilary Mantel

In the Reith Lectures this year Hilary Mantel discusses what is at the heart of good historical fiction, our relationship with the past, and the central elements in a historical novelist’s attempt to bring the past alive for us today. As Mantel herself says ‘The reason you must stick by the truth is that it is better, stranger, stronger, than  anything you can make up.’

Below are links to the complete series of her lectures, the podcasts as well as transcripts.

The Day is for Living

The Iron Maiden

Silence Grips the Town

Can These Bones Live?


and, if you don’t have time to listen or read the lot, in summary

What We have Learnt


7 thoughts on “Hilary Mantel’s Reith Lectures 2017

    • Yes, they were wonderful and provide so much to think about for anyone with a love of historical fiction whether they are a reader or a writer. I have enjoyed some of Hilary Mantel’s contemporary fiction too – Eight Months on Ghazzah Street is a particularly chilling novel.
      It seems, unfortunately, that we be waiting a while yet for the last Cromwell book


  1. I am missing pages 1 and 2 of the transcript for 2017.
    Hilary Mantel interviewed by Sue Lawley.
    Page 3 starts :- Two Catherine’ brothers.
    I would love to have the first two pages – but how


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