Fourth Estate to publish Mantel's contributions to LRB

Fourth Estate to publish Mantel's contributions to LRB

Fourth Estate is publishing Mantel Pieces, a collection of writing by Hilary Mantel—spanning essays, book reviews and memoir—from over 30 years of contributions to the London Review of Books.

Publishing this October, the collection will comprise an "irresistible selection" of 20 of Mantel's contributions to the publication, with subjects "ranging far and wide". Fourth Estate said it would include writing about "Robespierre and Danton, the Hite report, Saudi Arabia where she lived for four years in the 1980s, the James 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."

The publisher described the pieces in the collection as "constantly illuminating, always penetrating and often very funny".

Publication follows on the heels of The Mirror and the Light, which published to much fanfare in March and was number one for four weeks, with sales easily surpassing 100,000 copies in its first week and a half after launching. Wolf Hall has been translated into 36 languages, Bring Up the Bodies into 31 languages and sales for both books have reached over five million worldwide according to the publisher.

Nicholas Pearson, publishing director at Fourth Estate, commented: "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 Fourth 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."

Mary-Kay Wilmers, editor of the London Review of Books, said: "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 Fourth 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."

Mantel's total sales through the TCM are 2.25 million books for £20.8m.