/ Bland, personality-free shop mannequin

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Pete_Robinson on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson: She has a point...
rallymania - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

i've never met her so can't comment on her personality

my initial thought on reading this was "jealous rant"... does that make me a bad person?
Sir Chasm - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to rallymania:
> (In reply to Submit to Gravity)
>
> i've never met her so can't comment on her personality
>
> my initial thought on reading this was "jealous rant"... does that make me a bad person?

No, but it probably means you haven't read, or understood, the full piece. Although, criticizing her for having dead eyes in a portrait seems a bit odd.
dale1968 - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson: thought it was a description of her book
toad - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson: I only heard the extract on the radio about 10 minutes ago, which seemed rather more balanced than the newspaper coverage suggests. Certainly made me want to hear/ read the rest of it, rather than think the whole premise of our monarchy was going to crumble into the sea.
john arran - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to toad:
> rather than think the whole premise of our monarchy was going to crumble into the sea.

I rather think that happened some time ago, leaving us with a figurehead of debatable relevance rather than the constitutional embodiment of power the monarchy once was.
toad - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to dale1968:
> (In reply to Pete_Robinson) thought it was a description of her book

Whatever else you think about Mantel's writing, it isn't that
EeeByGum - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson: Who the f*ck is Hilary Mantel and why should I care what she thinks of the Monarchy?
dale1968 - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to toad: one of the very few books that I did not finish, I did not like her writing style, I have read dozens of Historical fact/fiction, and was not impressed
toad - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to dale1968: I don't like her writing either, but it isn't bland or personality free. Beyond Black is quite disturbing
RCC - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> No, but it probably means you haven't read, or understood, the full piece. Although, criticizing her for having dead eyes in a portrait seems a bit odd.

It wasn't really a criticism of her though, was it? The whole piece was about the public/ press expectations and perceptions of royal women. The portrait is just part of that.

ben b - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson:
Dear Hilary

I think you are quite correct, in many ways.
But I wouldn't climb over her to get to you.

Oh god I can't believe I just said that... Well, someone had to I guess.

Ahem

B
Sir Chasm - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to RCC: She said "in her first official portrait...her eyes are dead and she wears the strained smile of a woman who really wants to tell the painter to bugger off". Sounds like a criticism to me.
RCC - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to RCC) She said "in her first official portrait...her eyes are dead and she wears the strained smile of a woman who really wants to tell the painter to bugger off". Sounds like a criticism to me.

Indeed, but a a criticism of the portrait rather than the sitter.


toad - on 19 Feb 2013
Frank the Husky - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to Pete_Robinson) Who the f*ck is Hilary Mantel and why should I care what she thinks of the Monarchy?


If you don't know who Hilary Mantel is, you're as ignorant as your ill tempered reply suggests. You don't have to care what she thinks (no one's suggesting that you should) but, like anyone publishing their opinion, it's designed to provoke debate and an examination of your own thoughts. Try reading the text of her speech (as posted above), you might find it interesting, illuminating or controversial...but surely that's better than spewing half-witted, uninformed unpleasantness? Remember: think first, speak later.
Sir Chasm - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to RCC: That's certainly one interpretation.
rallymania - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:

to be fair, what i actually read was a short article in a free daily newspaper (i should really know better lol)

RCC - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to RCC) That's certainly one interpretation.

Well, it does fit much better with the rest of the speech. Perhaps one that has to be read in context.
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Sir Chasm - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to RCC: Yes, it fits right in with the other criticisms of portraiture.
RCC - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Sir Chasm:
> (In reply to RCC) Yes, it fits right in with the other criticisms of portraiture.


That's one way of putting it; certainly criticisms of a certain type of representation, at any rate.
EeeByGum - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Frank the Husky: Ok - perhaps I was a bit blunt and to that end, I apologise.

However, not having a clue who this person is, and being in a position to judge her based on the article, the impression I get from the article and the nature of the statements she has made, is that she is just another self-made self-publicist nobody who has made her name by publicly slating public figures like the Monarch who will never be able to answer back or defend themselves.

Statements like
“shop window mannequin”
“machine-made” Princess, “designed by committee”

and are cheap, of no substance and could be made by anyone. On the basis of the article above, I would put her in the same genre as Gillian McKeith.
tony on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to Frank the Husky) Ok - perhaps I was a bit blunt and to that end, I apologise.
>
> However, not having a clue who this person is, and being in a position to judge her based on the article, the impression I get from the article and the nature of the statements she has made, is that she is just another self-made self-publicist nobody who has made her name by publicly slating public figures like the Monarch who will never be able to answer back or defend themselves.

Well you're very wrong about that.
>
> Statements like
> “shop window mannequin”
> “machine-made” Princess, “designed by committee”

None of those appear to be saying anything about the Queen.
>
> and are cheap, of no substance and could be made by anyone. On the basis of the article above, I would put her in the same genre as Gillian McKeith.

If you really think that, you're an idiot.

Toby_W on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson:

Mmmm,

Not really interested in someone being nasty but weight of opinion fell to zero when I read her opinion of Diana.

Cheers

Toby
EeeByGum - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to tony: Not sure why you mentioned the queen but hey - ho. I guess I am just going to have to be an ignorant idiot. I apologise for not knowing who this literary icon is, but based solely on the article posted, my opinion is that the things she has said are simply cheap shots.

I have however learned that my opinion is wrong so will leave it there.
tony on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to tony) Not sure why you mentioned the queen but hey

You talked about the Monarch. I think you'll find that's the Queen.
John Rushby - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson:

From what I have read and heard on R4 this morning, she was making a point about the way the media and people turn royal females into some sort of doll and that the iconography removes the humananity from them. It also allows them to be built up and knocked down, repeatedly.

She also alluded to the strain of being in the public glare and how we *think* we know the person when all that is ever written about them concerns their clothes and appearance and since the media are vaucous, they suffer from being vicariously vaucous.

I actually thought she was being sympathetic, and since her talk inherently criticised the Maul, Express and red tops it is no wonder thay bit back.
toad - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to John Rushby:
> (In reply to Pete_Robinson)
>
> From what I have read and heard on R4 this morning, she was making a point about the way the media and people turn royal females into some sort of doll and that the iconography removes the humananity from them. It also allows them to be built up and knocked down, repeatedly.
>
> She also alluded to the strain of being in the public glare and how we *think* we know the person when all that is ever written about them concerns their clothes and appearance and since the media are vaucous, they suffer from being vicariously vaucous.
>
> I actually thought she was being sympathetic, and since her talk inherently criticised the Maul, Express and red tops it is no wonder thay bit back.

The comments do sound much less contraversial in the context of the complete talk- more of a comment on how she has been presented than how she is
Ava Adore - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson:

I was too scared to keep the article on my screen after looking at Hillary Mantell's crazy scary eyes. :-)

Just because someone doesn't have masses of faults it doesn't mean they are personality free or bland. HM is jealous because KM is gorgeous.
toad - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Ava Adore:
> (In reply to Pete_Robinson)
>

>
[.....] HM is jealous because KM is gorgeous.

I think you have just elegantly summarised everything Mantel was saying.

MJ - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson:

Has she got a new book due to come out?
jonathan shepherd - on 19 Feb 2013
Timmd on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to John Rushby:
> (In reply to Pete_Robinson)
>
> From what I have read and heard on R4 this morning, she was making a point about the way the media and people turn royal females into some sort of doll and that the iconography removes the humananity from them. It also allows them to be built up and knocked down, repeatedly.
>
> She also alluded to the strain of being in the public glare and how we *think* we know the person when all that is ever written about them concerns their clothes and appearance and since the media are vaucous, they suffer from being vicariously vaucous.
>
> I actually thought she was being sympathetic, and since her talk inherently criticised the Maul, Express and red tops it is no wonder thay bit back.

Good post. I've read of concern amongst some femenists about how she's become something of role model for young girls, while she never voices an opinion or does anything to display any independence.

It does perhaps seem like it might be the only way to cope with being a female royal in-law though, so as to not be attacked by the press.
EeeByGum - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Timmd:

> It does perhaps seem like it might be the only way to cope with being a female royal in-law though, so as to not be attacked by the press.

Good point. It seems all to easy to forget that her predecessor was inadvertently killed by the press.
seankenny - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> the impression I get from the article and the nature of the statements she has made, is that she is just another self-made self-publicist nobody who has made her name by publicly slating public figures

I think you'll find she's one of the UK's finest novelists, an insightful woman who, in writing books about both the French Revolution and Henry VIII, has probably thought more about royalty, what it is, what it's for, and what it's like to be royal or be around royals, than everyone on this forum put together. (In case you haven't guessed it, I'm a fan.)

I've read about half the original article so far and it seems typically interesting and insightful.
Ava Adore - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to Ava Adore)
> [...]
>
> [...]
> [.....] HM is jealous because KM is gorgeous.
>
> I think you have just elegantly summarised everything Mantel was saying.

Except that I meant Ms Mantell when I say HM
The New NickB - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Ava Adore:
> (In reply to toad)
> [...]
>
> Except that I meant Ms Mantell when I say HM

I think we all appreciate that and all see your lack of understanding.
Ava Adore - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to The New NickB:
> (In reply to Ava Adore)
> [...]
>
> I think we all appreciate that and all see your lack of understanding.

It's a common state with me
Blue Straggler - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:

In what way is Diana Kate's "predecessor"? Has Charles ceded his "next in line" status?
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Timmd on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:I knew what he ment, prominent female royal-in-law who came before her.
Blue Straggler - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Timmd:

I knew what he meant as well. It doesn't change the fact that Diana can not meaningfully or accurately be described as a predecessor to Kate.

Someone has to try to keep standards up before society collapses into a Morlock-like state of idiocy.

What next? "Hillary was Bonington's predecessor and Bonington is Leo Houlding's predecessor"?
seankenny - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Timmd)
>
> I knew what he meant as well. It doesn't change the fact that Diana can not meaningfully or accurately be described as a predecessor to Kate.

Erm, Diana was a non-royal who married into the royal family and was due to become Queen. Kate is... oh I'm sure you can fill in the blanks.
Blue Straggler - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to seankenny:

Yes but in some sort of small-scale King Ralph scenario, then Sarah (well, to a point) and Sophie could have been described as "predecessors" too, but I don't think anyone ever described Diana as a predecessor to either of them before the marriage of William and Kate...
EeeByGum - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Blue Straggler: I think you are splitting hairs. The point is that the wife of the ayre to the thrown is very much in the media because she is a good looking lass.... a bit like Diana (although I never really got that)

And we all know what happened to Diana when the press got a bit too hot under the collar.
IainRUK - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to toad:
> (In reply to Ava Adore)
> [...]
>
> [...]
> [.....] HM is jealous because KM is gorgeous.
>
> I think you have just elegantly summarised everything Mantel was saying.

Aye.. to be honest we (the public) know so little about Kate, understandably she is well protected. I just can't see how someone has seen enough to make negative comments.

The comments on her weight are awful. She looks fairly typical of slim women, some women do struggle to put on weight yet suffer as many comments as overweight women.. for some reason commenting on an overweight woman is out of order but commenting on slim women is fair game..

The rest.. well I've not seen anything, or heard anything to make her come across as anything other than a nice smart person. Certainly local to North Wales they are both well thought of.

No win situation.. be all over the press with comments as she's fame seeking.. keep a low profile and she's bland.. its just envy and the UK's all too common desire to bring people down..
tony on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to EeeByGum:
> (In reply to Blue Straggler) I think you are splitting hairs. The point is that the wife of the ayre to the thrown is very much in the media because she is a good looking lass

I think you'll find that Camilla is the wife of the heir to the throne.

But you're right, Blue is splitting hairs.
Gordon Stainforth - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to toad)
> [...]
>
> Aye.. to be honest we (the public) know so little about Kate, understandably she is well protected. I just can't see how someone has seen enough to make negative comments.
>
> The comments on her weight are awful. She looks fairly typical of slim women, some women do struggle to put on weight yet suffer as many comments as overweight women.. for some reason commenting on an overweight woman is out of order but commenting on slim women is fair game..

Agreed. What is wrong with Kate being a human being of ideal weight? What's she meant to do? Fatten up and look ugly? ... though it would be hard for anyone to make themselves quite as ugly as HM.
>
> The rest.. well I've not seen anything, or heard anything to make her come across as anything other than a nice smart person. Certainly local to North Wales they are both well thought of.

It seems to me - and we've all seen plenty of footage of her conversing and interacting with people - that's she's a very nice, genuine personality.
>
> No win situation.. be all over the press with comments as she's fame seeking.. keep a low profile and she's bland.. its just envy and the UK's all too common desire to bring people down..

It was just cheap and nasty and little more than easy point-scoring among trendy cynics, IMHO. What is notable (as several people have pointed out today) is that Kate is doing much, and has already done much, to modernise the image of the Royal Family.

Blue Straggler - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to tony:
> Blue is splitting hairs.


Better than splitting heirs!
Dauphin - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson:

the royals, yawn.

D
dek - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
It's like your body shape being criticised, by Jabba the Hut!
seankenny - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:
> (it would be hard for anyone to make themselves quite as ugly as HM.

FFS Gordon, this kind of comment really isn't the kind of thing I'd expect from a man of your intelligence. Or have you taken to only reading good-looking writers these days?


> It was just cheap and nasty and little more than easy point-scoring among trendy cynics, IMHO.

Erm, have you actually read the article to see what it's all about? Have any of the other commentators on here?

Anyhow, it's very interesting and also sympathetic to the Royals, in some respects. If you can't be arsed, here's a quote from the piece:

"Adulation can swing to persecution, within hours, within the same press report: this is what happened to Prince Harry recently. You can understand that anybody treated this way can be destabilised, and that Harry doesn’t know which he is, a person or a prince. Diana was spared, at least, the prospect of growing old under the flashbulbs, a crime for which the media would have made her suffer...

"Cheerful curiosity can easily become cruelty. It can easily become fatal. We don’t cut off the heads of royal ladies these days, but we do sacrifice them, and we did memorably drive one to destruction a scant generation ago...I’m not asking for censorship. I’m not asking for pious humbug and smarmy reverence. I’m asking us to back off and not be brutes."

Now tell me, how is this being nasty to the monarchy?



seankenny - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to dek:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
> It's like your body shape being criticised, by Jabba the Hut!

You do of course know that HM's size is caused by an illness?

Blue Straggler - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to seankenny:

Well said. I haven't even read the whole article let alone the full transcript of what Mantel has said, but I picked up (from earlier posts in this thread) that her intent seems have been inverted by the lower end of the press. So yes, some commentators on here are clued up but they have been dominated by the plebs saying "ugh Hilary Mantel is a bush-pig"....typical.
Cú Chullain - on 20 Feb 2013
The context was a wider talk about the roles of royal women. Within that context nothing Mantel said was bad if anything it was sympathetic. Our useless media have decided in order to sell papers they would hang Mantel out to dry, papers get their £s worth and dumb buggers jump on the hysterical reaction and going after Mantels looks which of course is what they've accused Mantel of with Kate. A perfect circle of stupidity.


rurp - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson: Mantels conclusion 'I'm asking for us to back off and not be brutes'(to kate) is the message she attempts to convey to the public.

Her argument is too long and complex to get this,her message across to most of the population.

Someone used to constructing an argument and conclusion in the media of books, is unable to make a headline length sentence to convey her whole meaning.

For someone who professes to understand the media she therefore either intended to provoke the storm prior to a diana style hounding to death of kate, or she misjudged their ability to quote selected aspects to make herself look malicious.

Glad I am not famous. Also glad I'm off to bosigran and no one will take pictures of how crap my hair looks on the cliffs.
seankenny - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to rurp:
>
> Someone used to constructing an argument and conclusion in the media of books, is unable to make a headline length sentence to convey her whole meaning.
>
> For someone who professes to understand the media she therefore either intended to provoke the storm prior to a diana style hounding to death of kate, or she misjudged their ability to quote selected aspects to make herself look malicious.

She wrote an essay for the London Review of Books, hardly a household publication.


>
> Glad I am not famous. Also glad I'm off to bosigran and no one will take pictures of how crap my hair looks on the cliffs.

Rampikino - on 20 Feb 2013
In reply to Pete_Robinson:

The intent may have been sympathy but not towards Kate, more towards expectations of monarchy.

Her portrayal of Kate was simply based on some distant observations and supposition about the inner dealings of the monarchy. In saying what she said she has made various suppositions (which are very likely to be nonsense) simply to furnish her own point of view - ie she has used an invented image of Kate to support her hypothesis.

But she certainly did not give an overwhelmingly supportive view of Kate at all, and the biggest thing she missed was the simple acknowledgement that not only is Kate human but loves, and is loved. She has family and friends. The perspective that somehow the monarchy automatically squashes that is not a view that Kate herself is likely to support.

And finally there is the not so subtle suggestion about Kate being painfully thin. Perhaps Hilary should just come out and say it - either way it doesn't come across as being sympathetic in my eyes.

This was an essay with a broad point and not about Kate specifically, but she has used Kate in a way that is intended to provoke and is likely to be based on her own unfounded suppositions.

To criticise her about this is no less valid than to praise her in my eyes.

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