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Kate Middleton 'Mannequin' Comments Prompt Sales Boost for British Author

Hilary Mantel - P 2013
Stuart Wilson/Getty Images
Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel's novels have risen on the book charts after she likened the Duchess of Cambridge to a "shop-window mannequin" with a "plastic smile."

British author Hilary Mantel’s novels have received a sales boost since she criticized Kate Middleton earlier this month. Remarks made by the Man Booker prize winner (the first female to do so twice in a row) caused controversy that brought Prime Minister David Cameron to Middleton’s defense, while simultaneously generating interest in her novels.

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At a lecture at the British Museum titled "Royal Bodies," Mantel called the Duchess of Cambridge a “a shop-window mannequin, with no personality of her own, entirely defined by what she wore," with a "plastic smile" and “as painfully thin as anyone could wish without quirks, without oddities, without the risk of the emergence of character. ” The remarks prompted a firestorm of media attention and led the Prime Minster to call them "completely misguided."

Bookseller reports that as of Tuesday, Feb. 19, the U.K. publisher Fourth Estate has seen a 100 percent increase in e-book sales of Mantel's novel Wolf Hall, the first in a trilogy about Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power under the rule of King Henry VIII, compared to the day before -- the result, Bookseller speculates, of the increasing media coverage surrounding Mantel's comments.

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According to CNN, the U.K.’s Telegraph discovered that Wolf Hall and it’s sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, had on Wednesday, Feb. 20, scored a higher spot on Amazon’s book charts. On Amazon U.K.’s list of best-selling historical fiction, the paperback edition of Wolf Hall has jumped from No. 13 to the No. 3 slot, while Bring Up the Bodies moved from No. 17 to No. 5.