• It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires

    Hilary Mantel
  • But it is no use to justify yourself. It is no good to explain. It is weak to be anecdotal. It is wise to conceal the past even if there is nothing to conceal. A man's power is in the half-light, in the half-seen movements of his hand and the unguessed-at expression of his face. It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires

    Hilary Mantel
  • He knows different now. It's the living that chase the dead. The long bones and skulls are tumbled from their shrouds, and words like stones thrust into their rattling mouths: we edit their writings, we rewrite their lives. Thomas More had spread the rumor that Little Bilney, chained to the stake, had recanted as the fire was set. It wasn't enough for him to take Bilney's life away; he had to take his death too

    Hilary Mantel
  • I think now that this is the great division between people. There are people who find life hard and those who find it easy. There are those who have a natural, in-built, expectation of happiness, and there are those who feel that happiness is not to be expected: that it is not, in fact, one of the rights of man. Nor, God knows, one of the rights of women

    Hilary Mantel
  • Men say," Liz reaches for her scissors, "'I can't endure it when women cry'--just as people say, 'I can't endure this wet weather.' As if it were nothing to do with the men at all, the crying. Just one of those things that happen

    Hilary Mantel
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