Yesterday, I posted a blog in praise of Hilary Mantel, but included an error in the title of the autobiography to which I referred; I had recently read both. Ink in the Blood is a wonderful title, and so appropriate to how I perceive her, it remained lodged in the interstices of my brain as an ideogram representing the author. But this is, in fact, a brief memoir of her time in hospital, and does not tell us the things I spoke of in my blog. Giving Up the Ghost is the correct title of her full length autobiography, and indeed, this concept ties in neatly with the theme of my blog. Except that I have to confess, I hate the notion of her ‘giving up the ghost’. Is this not a widely-used euphemism for death?
Give up – or write about – the ghosts of others if you wish, Hilary Mantel, but may you keep using that ink in your blood for many years to come.