Feb 19, 2013

By Scott Walker

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She may be a widely-read and highly-acclaimed novelist.

But Hilary Mantel is winning no fans among Britain’s Royal Family.

The Booker-Prize-winning author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies is being savaged by some media outlets and online for comments she made recently about the Duchess of Cambridge.

Among other things, Mantel said the wife of Prince Williams is “painfully thin as anyone could wish, without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character.” She also said Kate appears to be “designed by a committee and built by craftsmen” with a “perfect plastic smile.”

Mantel’s lecture to the London Review of Books concerned Royal women through the ages, beginning with Anne Boleyn, who figures prominently in her novels. She made the remarks two weeks ago, and it took some time for them to become public. But when they did, the response was immediate.

London’s Daily Mail has called it “an astonishing and venomous attack on the Duchess of Cambridge.” Other newspapers were equally harsh.

Opinion on social media sites is roughly split, with some readers slamming Mantel and others defending her.

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