Thursday, 21 February 2013

A Right Royal Rant

Have you read Hilary Mantel’s attack on Katherine, the Duchess of Cambridge?  Amongst the many unkind things she said were that Kate had no personality and was a plastic princess designed to breed. If Hilary has children presumably she was also ‘designed to breed’.  If not perhaps it is pure jealousy over Kate being pregnant.  How dare someone who has no good reason (and can there ever be a good reason for all the vile comments she made) attack a perfectly blameless girl who never did anyone any harm?  It is so horrible.  A classic example of foul, distasteful and quarrelsome writing with no purpose other than self-aggrandisement.

It’s a nasty piece of writing from a nasty piece of work.  I don’t know Kate so I have no idea what personality she has.  Hilary Mantel doesn’t know Kate either but on the basis of Kate’s public face – which her role in life requires her to display – she has judged Kate as having none.  How in earth can you make that judgement without knowing someone?  I didn’t do stand-up jokes in my work place.  Should all my former work colleagues have therefore assumed I had no sense of humour?  I never swore in work – does that mean all my former colleagues should assume I never do swear or that nothing ever fazes me or annoys me?  I was never seen without a tie in work.  Does that mean I always wore a tie out of work as well. Of course not.  How would anyone have the right to describe me simply from my behaviour and appearance in work?

And yet, out of the blue, simply for a bit of self-publicity this Hilary Mantel has seen fit to judge and attack the Duchess of Cambridge calling her things like a plastic Princess, a breeding machine and so on.  Apart from one aspect of the behaviour of one female American politician I have never used this blog to attack anyone.  Never until today, that is.  Now her behaviour makes me want to attack Hilary Mantel but how do I do so?  I don’t even know the woman and unlike her I can’t just invent things.

Two things I can make a reasonable judgement about Hilary Mantel though.  Firstly, her writing has never deserved the acclaim and prizes it has won.  In my review of Wolf Hall – done long before this controversy – I rated it only eight out of ten and made the comment that "When The Times called it ‘The most gripping story you’ll ever read’  they lied but it is a passable historical novel."  Wolf Hall is by no means the best historical novel I have read and the reason for its Booker Prize I have yet to fathom out.  In particular I really dislike Hilary Mantel’s use of the word ‘He’.  I was taught that ‘he’ referred to the last male mentioned.  Sometimes Hilary obeys that rule but equally frequently she uses it to refer to Cromwell even if he wasn’t the last person mentioned.  It’s so confusing and whilst it may be a clever style it’s so difficult to follow at times that one has to re-read a paragraph to understand who the ‘He’ is.  That may seem like a petty thing but when it goes from start to finish it’s very off-putting.

A comment on my review said “My daughter gave the book to me for Christmas a couple of years ago. She should have blown the money on riotous living instead!” 

And secondly, in my view, she is very unattractive.  I have never said that about anyone before and probably never will again but I think she has made herself fair game.  However, I leave you to judge for yourself.

Her frozen smile looks like an advert for botox gone wrong.  How can someone whose face looks like that of a blow-up doll (not that I am overly familiar with such things) talk about the ‘plastic Princess’?  As a friend of mine said ‘How much did that face cost you, Hilary? I’d as ask for my money back!’ 

Despite not being a royalist, as you may have gathered the whole affair annoyed me. 

Rant over!!

P.S. At least Kate doesn't need to rely on publicity shots taken fifteen years ago! 

Rant now really over!!!!


  1. Wow, I'm still reeling over your "shocking" previous post! I heard about the comments this person made, but you filled me in on the details nicely. I agree with you. We don't truly know famous people. Just like we really don't know our fellow bloggers unless we've met them or know them personally. I wouldn't want Kate Middleton's life or any celebrities life. It puts you "out there" for all to see and judge. This lady seems to think she has the right to do that. It's so wrong. So I'm going out on a limb here...I don't know her either but I can see she has weird eyebrows and who does her hair?

  2. Oooooooh, someone's got a crush on Kate! 8-)

    1. Would not know her from Adam. Well, maybe Eve, Marche line. Though I might recognize her sister`s rear end after seeing ten minutes of wedding video.

  3. An observation: It is surely poetic justice that Miss Mantel will be remembered for the mean-spirited pronouncements that gave her ten minutes of (unwarranted) fame. Am I right in assuming that it is an honour to be invited to give a lecture at the British Museum? With her rather base comments and very bad manners, Miss Mantel is akin to a very small person playing a very badly-tuned violin. She should have been treated accordingly.

    And a question: It is clear from her speech on “Royal Bodies” that Miss Mantel thinks she has scruples. Moreover, she thinks she is serving them in speaking out of conscience against things she thinks are wrong, and that she wants others to think are wrong, as well – the objectification of women comes to mind. But where were her scruples when it came to accepting a prestigious literary award from the very hand of the woman over whom she passed her eyes “as a cannibal views his dinner”? Enough said.

    Scriptor, your response to Hilary Mantel's photo is hilarious - and bang on!
    Carry on, McGregor

  4. Until the name was mentioned on Frances Garrood's blog and now on yours, I'd never heard of Hilary Mantel before.
    Judging people without knowing them happens, sadly enough, all the time. And while her face should not be a reason for attacking Hilary, I can't help thinking, good Gods, what DID she do to her eyebrows?!

  5. I agree 100%!! But she got what she wanted from this piece of writing -- fame or notoriety -- at someone else's expense. She's not worth wasting our breath on. Good rant!

  6. Hi John :) I'm not sure if you've receive my latest email, but I thought I'd send you a note here because the information that I sent wasn't quite right anyhow.

    I've moved my blogging experience. Am now following everyone through google reader {which is really neat, actually - takes getting used to but I'm enjoying it}.

    I have committed myself to the move, keep my website, portfolio and blogging in one place - it's so much easier for me.

    My new feed, that you can enter into your following updates on the blogger home page, or in a link at your sidebar, or wherever you follow blogs from is

    {hope to see you and some familiar faces there, as I will be posting more regularly once I have everything converted}

    Love to you!!!

    1. Thanks Heather,Í'll alter my sidebar.

  7. I see where her book sales went up after the speech so I guess she got what she wanted. Is her goal to make this Princess as miserable as Princess Diana?

  8. Amen, Scriptor. I agree with you a hundred, no, a thousand per cent. I could never figure out how HM managed to win the Booker Prize for Wolf Hall either. I struggled with the book, and tried to re-read it, thinking perhaps I'd missed something. Last week I finally gave up and took it to the second-hand book shop. I can use the shelf space for much more interesting things!

  9. Who was the American female politician?

    Truly I have never really understood the need to belittle someone for just drawing breath. If Hilary Mantel wants to berate someone publicly, let her find a worthy target. Than Shwe (Burma), Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe) or Kim Jong Il (North Korea) come to mind.

    Ah... Hilary may wish to take these poor examples of humanity to task from a safe distance, as none of them are known for their forbearance or kindly acceptance of public criticism. Just sayin'.

    Nice rant, by the way.

  10. Good rant and you are so right. It's a most immature way to seek attention by talking other people down (I don't know if that's an expression in English but it is in Dutch, bear with me as English is not my primary language) Nice to see there are a lot of people who recognise her behaviour for what it is.

    1. Taking people down is an English expression as well, Branwen. Thanks for visiting.

  11. CJ, glad you got this rant off your chest, but please don't waste any more time and space on your blog with stupid jealous ignorant people...they don't deserve it.

  12. When I saw the full length picture of Hillary in paper, apart from the awfulness of her dialogue, my thoughts were 'what makes her think she is in a place for those kind of comments!'


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