Hilary Mantel’s handling of Historical Fiction

Surendra Kumar
Assistant Professor, Department of English Seth RL Saharia Government PG College Kaladera, Jaipur Email : skmeena82@gmail.com, Mob:- 9468768941
There are several literary subgenres, and historical fiction is one of them. The story's most significant aspect is that it is set in the past, with every aspect according to the standards of the time. A historical fiction story transports readers to a former time and location. It is the setting that gives historical novel credibility. Historical fiction takes place in a genuine location and at a historically significant moment in time. As the author fills in the blanks, the details and the action in the novel may combine real-world incidents with those from their imagination. Characters may be entirely made up of fiction or may be based on real persons or both at times. Historical fiction did not become a popular literary subgenre until the early 1800s. One of the first widely read books in the category was Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott which was published in 1819 and narrates the story which took place in 1194. There are no adequate words to express how much Dame Hilary Mantel meant to British literature. She was a writer of extraordinary talent and originality. Her trilogy about the life of Tudor politician Thomas Cromwell will be remembered forever. Our perception of what historical fiction is capable of was completely altered by the beauty and vigour of these compelling books. They achieved incredible success. Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring Up the Bodies (2012) both received the Booker Prize, while The Mirror and the Light (2020) was also nominated. It is not pointless to travel across the past, nor is it a pointless endeavour. The past shifts a little each time we tell a narrative about it because history is constantly shifting behind us. The most meticulous historian is an unreliable narrator; he/she brings to the project the biases of his/her training and the whims of his/her personal temperament, and he/she is frequently forced to murder his/her forefathers in order to make his/her name by coming up with a different interpretation of events from the one that predominated when he/she himself/herself learned the discipline; he/she must make the old new because his/her department's academic standing depends on it. This is exactly what Hilary Mantel did when she wrote the Cromwell trilogy.