The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher

hillary mantel

There’s an excellent review of Hillary Mantel’s latest collection of short stories in the Guardian by James Lasdun although he is perhaps a little tough on her The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher – August 6th 1983 which ‘has an engaging sprightliness, and the situation it contrives – of a captive woman who shares her captor’s loathing for the Iron Lady, almost to the point of being willing to trade places with him (“You go and make the tea and I’ll sit here and mind the gun”) – is full of comic as well as serious possibilities. The problem is that so much of the story’s energy goes into the elaborate mechanics and metaphysics of its counterfactual … Nothing to object to, but it amounts to little more than cheerleading (or jeerleading), which is disappointing, to say the least, after the richly layered political theatre of the Tudor novels.’