As well as the simple fact of what parts of Mantel's lengthy and detailed speech the articles choose to quote, and the way these quotes are used – especially in the aforementioned appropriation of Mantel's observations about the royal body – the use of particular verbs in speech presentation is of interest. Some verbs carry war-like connotations, for example the Mail's description of how "A best-selling author... has launched a bitter attack" and the Independent's "Hilary Mantel attacks 'bland, plastic, machine-made' Duchess of Cambridge". The inclusion of a target – Middleton – in representations of Mantel's speech also makes her comments sound like direct personal attacks: "The double Booker Prize-winner compared princess Kate unfavourably to Anne Boleyn" (Independent), "Hilary Mantel calls Duchess of Cambridge 'bland' and 'machine made'" (Mail). In these and other instances, it feels as though the reader is being pushed towards sympathising with Middleton, the defenceless victim, rather than Mantel, the aggressor who coolly "deliver[s] a withering assessment of Kate Middleton" (Independent) and "use[s] her position among the novel-writing elite to make an astonishing and venomous critique of Kate" (Mail).


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