Book Summary: “The Crown,” Hilary Mantel


When Queen Elizabeth II died on September 8, Production paused In the sixth season of the famous historical drama on Netflix the crown, which charts the second Elizabethan era in the United Kingdom. It’s been respected, a source on Netflix said, but it also highlights the strange relationship the real crown has the crown. The series is based on actual people and events, but the storytelling requirements mean that the facts must be made coherent in something beyond autobiography: narrative, such as Written by Helen Lewis in 2020.

In life as we live it, there is no clear plot; The past arc is only visible in hindsight. But in historical fiction, the goal is to depict a story, so fidelity to factual facts and timelines isn’t always the goal. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that: “Authenticity isn’t just what happened,” Min Jin Lee explained in 2017. “It’s about emotional truth, too.” This spirit is what distinguishes one type from another. “Successful historical fiction brings past events to life in a more engaging or personal way than textbooks do,” Written by Anna Diamond in 2018. This makes them especially useful in the classroom, where they can help students understand different perspectives and imagine themselves in distant situations.

This type has gained popularity over the past two decades. In 2009, Jay Barini posited One reason for this: “In our high-speed, high-volume world, the present can seem too bright and too close. We need a memory filter to bring reality into focus.” Jennifer Egan And the Geraldine Brooks They have embraced historical fiction with varying degrees of success. But some of the best examples – like Hilary Mantel wolf hole A trilogy, about Thomas Cromwell – revisiting towering characters with sensitivity and self-awareness. as such Written by Judith Shulevitz In 2020, the creation of Cromwell of Mantel began to “double” Mantel by the end of the series. He spends much of the final book of the trilogy viewing himself “in the astonishment of the novelist in a character who defies understanding”. Mantel’s reincarnated version of the man, unlike the real Cromwell, seems to know he’s a character in the narrative – and the effect is dramatic.

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what we read

A group of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Emma Corinne, the actress who plays The Crown

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the crownThe solemn lie

“This season raises two ethical questions. The first is about the amount of responsibility the crown on her subjects. Members of the royal family are public figures, but they are also human beings. … The second most difficult question is what is the responsibility the crown It must have a history.”


white young man reading a book

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What makes historical fiction great?

historical fiction, [the historian Robert Lacey] It could take us a step beyond the available record, he said: “It’s a fantasy inspired by the past.” Historians examine bits of evidence to form an explanation; Historical fiction fills the void around those bits and pieces.”


Collage of a child reading a book in front of pictures of book covers and other historical events

AP / LOC / Getty / Shutterstock / Katie Martin / The Atlantic

Using historical fiction to connect the past and the present

“But besides providing an introduction to disturbing issues, historical novels can provide the opportunity, if taught consciously, to engage students from the multiple viewpoints, which are essential to understanding history; to help students understand historical patterns and political similarities; and to introduce students to historiography—how to write History and its study.


An open book with a blanket behind

Carol Yepes/Getty Images

How historical fiction became high-ranking

“History, of course, is something made. It does not exist on its own in any such thing as a recognizable form. Indeed, we might all forget where we were, if we had not had someone to assemble and arrange the little blocks called facts from which history is built, in an artistic way or less [the historian Eric Foner] Putting it in his keynote speech, “works of history are first and foremost works of fiction.” However, while history itself has reached the stature of the social sciences—albeit not in the mind of Foner, who campaigned in Columbia to move his department to the humanities—historical fiction has been ignored in the past.


Illustration by Thomas Cromwell

Aaron Marine

Hilary Mantel downloads Thomas Cromwell

“The one-person perspective gives books their grip, because Cromwell’s charisma is never allowed to squander. At the same time, Mantel has plenty of room for invention. Cromwell’s record contains significant loopholes, perhaps because once he got into trouble, his proponents burned or moved as many papers as possible. .Mantel works hard to root her imagination in the physical and psychological realities of the period.”


information about us: This week’s newsletter written by Emma Sarabo. The book you are reading right now is wolf holeby Hilary Mantell.

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