Press release

MANTEL PIECES: Royal Bodies and Other Writing from the London Review of Books by Hilary Mantel



In October 2020, 4th Estate, an imprint of HarperCollins UK, and London Review of Books will publish MANTEL PIECES by Hilary Mantel, a collection of writing – essays, book reviews, memoir – from over thirty years of contributions to the LRB.

MANTEL PIECES is a collection of twenty reviews, essays and pieces of memoir spanning over three decades. Hilary Mantel’s subjects range far and wide: Robespierre and Danton, the Hite report, Saudi Arabia where she lived for four years in the 1980s, the Bulger case, John Osborne, the Virgin Mary as well as the pop icon Madonna, and a brilliant examination of Helen Duncan, Britain’s last witch. There are essays about Jane Boleyn, Charles Brandon, Christopher Marlowe and Margaret Pole, which display the astonishing insight into the Tudor mind we are familiar with from the bestselling Wolf Hall Trilogy. Her famous lecture, ‘Royal Bodies’ explores the place of royal women in society and our imagination. Here too are some of Mantel’s LRB diaries, including her first meeting with her stepfather and a confrontation with a circus strongman.

Constantly illuminating, always penetrating and often very funny, interleaved with letters and other ephemera gathered from the archive, Mantel Pieces is an irresistible selection from one of our greatest living writers.

Mary-Kay Wilmers, editor of the London Review of Books, says:

‘No writer does more for an issue of the LRB than Hilary Mantel. The evidence is here.’

Sam Kinchin-Smith, the London Review of Books head of special projects, added: ‘We’re proud to have published this remarkable body of work, delighted to be working with Hilary and 4th Estate on introducing it to new audiences, and we hope that this is just that latest milestone in an ongoing story, with many more Mantel pieces still to come.’

Nicholas Pearson, Publishing Director at 4th Estate comments:

‘I first read Hilary Mantel in the London Review of Books, where she has been publishing since the 1980s. For me, her diaries and pieces were a trail of breadcrumbs to her novels. I’m thrilled that 4th Estate are collaborating with the LRB to bring out this stunning selection of pieces. The millions of readers who have delighted in the peerless writing of The Wolf Hall Trilogy will find similar rewards here.’

Hilary Mantel is the two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize for her best-selling novels, Wolf Hall, and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, which also won the 2012 Costa Book of the Year. Playful Productions / Royal Shakespeare Company adapted Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies for the stage.

Wolf Hall has been translated into 36 languages, Bring Up the Bodies 31 languages and sales for both books have reached over 5 million worldwide.

The conclusion to The Wolf Hall Trilogy, The Mirror & the Light, was published in 2020 to huge critical acclaim and became a number one fiction best-seller.

Hilary Mantel is the author of fifteen books, including A Place of Greater Safety, Beyond Black, and the memoir Giving up the Ghost. In 2014 she was appointed DBE.


4th Estate is one of the most innovative and eclectic imprints in the industry, with a reputation for publishing a wide variety of critically acclaimed and beautifully produced titles. Recent fiction includes Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror & the Light, Costa Novel Award winner Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor, Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom and Orange Prize-winner Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah; while recent non-fiction includes Costa Biography winner In the Days of Rain by Rebecca Stott, the Samuel Johnson Prize-winning Leviathan by Philip Hoare, Siddharta Mukherjee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Emperor of All Maladies, James Gleick’s Royal Society Winton Prize-winning The Information, Ben Goldacre’s bestselling Bad Pharma and Nigel Slater’s Eat.


HarperCollins UK is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, the second largest consumer book publisher in the world, with operations in 17 countries, and was named Publisher of the Year at the British Book Awards 2018. With over two hundred years of history and more than 120 unique imprints around the world, HarperCollins publishes approximately 10,000 new books every year, in 16 languages, and has a print and digital catalogue of more than 200,000 titles. Writing across dozens of genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals and the Man Booker Prize. HarperCollins UK has offices in London, Glasgow and Honley, and can be found online at


The London Review of Books is Europe’s leading magazine of culture and ideas. Published twice a month, it provides a space for some of the world’s best writers to explore a wide variety of subjects in exhilarating detail – from art and politics to science and technology via history and philosophy, not to mention fiction and poetry. In the age of the long read, the LRB remains the pre-eminent exponent of the intellectual essay, admired around the world for its fearlessness, its range and its elegance.

As well as book reviews, memoir and reportage, each issue also contains poems, reviews of exhibitions and movies, ‘short cuts’, letters and a diary, and is available in print, online, and offline via the LRB app. Subscribers enjoy unlimited access to every piece ever published by the paper, in its digital archive. The new LRB website also features a regular blog, an online store, podcasts and short documentaries, plus video highlights from events programmes on both sides of the Atlantic, and at the London Review Bookshop.

Date Posted

June 12, 2020


Lauren Morocco


MANTEL PIECES: Royal Bodies and Other Writing from the London Review of Books by Hilary Mantel