An important and major novel.
During lockdown I rediscovered my joy of knitting, and recently many of my friends have become grandparents. I haven’t been able to unlock the multi-tasking skill of reading while knitting, but listening to audiobooks with needles in hand is quite achievable, and a great way of finally clearing some chunksters from the TBR. Last month I also indulged in a little supportive role play – everyone has heard about the women who sat knitting by the guillotine during the French Revolution, haven’t they?
These days it’s hard to imagine Hilary Mantel taking 13 years to find a publisher, but that is what happened here. It took her four years to write – from 1975 to 1979 – with the novel finally published in 1992. But in those days Mantel wasn’t the giantess of historical fiction that she is these days, and a novel of 880 pages would be quite a…
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