Mantel understood that her More, like her Cromwell and her Anne, reflects cultural projections and agendas no less than Bolt's. "All historical fiction is really contemporary fiction," she told me, "We always write from our own time."
Now, historian Lauren Mackay has looked afresh at Chapuys' letters, returning to his actual words, to decipher exactly what he did have to say. And what he didn't. What emerges in this new book about the Tudor court is a complex diplomatic picture of a lively and clever man who defies the stereotypes perpetuated in some history books to shine as he takes centre stage.
What did Anne Boleyn look like? According to the distinguished historian Eric Ives, the Anne depicted on the reconstructed commemorative medal pictured below is "as close to the real Anne Boleyn as we shall ever be able to get."...
By her own confession, philosopher Susan Bordo is obsessed with Anne Boleyn. The very cover of her new book alerts the reader to the fact they are about to experience something more than straightforward history.
It is hard to find anything new on Anne these days, however In the Footsteps of Anne Boleyn fills a definite gap in the market.
In a chorus that has chirruped on since the dawn of time, the world united to shut Mantel up. Some of the nastier comments on her facebook page were painful in their venom. Tweets called her rude, and admonished her with patronising clichés like 'If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all'.