Kate Chisholm

Making history | 15 June 2017

Plus: the museum in Aleppo that survived the war

‘History is not the past,’ says the writer Hilary Mantel in the first of her Reith Lectures on Radio 4 (produced by Jim Frank, Tuesday). ‘It’s the method we’ve evolved of organising our ignorance of the past.’ In Resurrection: The Art and Craft, her series of five talks, Mantel shows her mettle as a novelist (most notably of the award-winning Wolf Hall and its sequel) and as a historian, too, arguing the case for historical fiction, once much-maligned as a literary genre precisely because it twists the facts to create a narrative, usually of a highly romanticised flavour.

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