Hilary Mantel & Kate Middleton

Hilary Mantel Attack kate Middleton?
HIlary Mantel: “We don’t cut off the heads of royal ladies these days, but we do sacrifice them.”

I broke my arm on holiday — and lots of other personals have taken over time during the past weeks — including a burglar who made off with my computer and work I hadn't backed up.

So I'm just tuning in today to explain that I'm on an enforced go slow, which is why you haven't received an update in a while.

I can type only with one hand which, after a short time, creates pain in the broken arm. As recovery is likely to take a while – the break is in an awkward place and can't be plaster-cast – this piece is being written with voice recognition software.

And I'm looking into making more podcasts for the blog, something I've intended to do for ages anyway.

Such transformed work practices, I'm hoping, might be the silver lining of the pain and inconvenience.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share with you Hilary Mantel's controversial article in the London Review of Books about the illusion and reality of royalty.

The piece has caused a furore here in London, the sort of confected hoo-ha at which the British tabloids excel, with TV pundits and even our prime minister lining up to defend Kate Middleton from the writer's alleged attack.

Few bothered to address any of the questions Mantel raised, or to appreciate that she was addressing the institution of royalty, not any individual; or, it seems, to even read the piece they so indignantly condemned.

Here is the piece, in text and podcast, in all it intelligent fineness and grace: Royal Bodies by Hilary Mantel. Enjoy!

And thank you for your patience. Depending on technology, normal transmission may be resumed next week.