Illiterati or Misreading Mantel

As if we needed proof that hacks indulge in wilful misinterpretation, the media is up in arms about Hilary Mantel’s quizzical and actually rather sympathetic piece about royal bodies in the London Review of Books. Metro’s Tariq Tahir roared Anger at machine made Kate! Cue irate pieces in various papers about the worst excesses of the liberal press. The Beeb and the Prime Minister also entered the fray.

I don’t expect subtlety from the press, but it is their obvious cynicism that appals. Anyone who had read Mantel’s piece couldn’t come to such an extreme conclulsion without misquoting out of context and twisting her words beyond recognition. Which suggests to me that yesterday’s headlines were just cynical attacks at a writer who doesn’t pander to the press (and had dared to criticise it). Hadley Freeman’s piece in the Guardian is totally spot on.

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