02:30PM, Thursday 25 September 2014
A controversial short story written by Man Booker Prize-winning author Hilary Mantel about the fictional assassination of the late former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is set in Windsor.
The story, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: August 6th 1983, was published in The Guardian newspaper on Saturday (Sep 20) and will be published in a book of short stories with the same title.
The then Prime Minister, who visited Princess Christian Hospital, in Clarence Road, for an eye operation in 1983, was seen by former Windsor resident Miss Mantel from the window of her flat.
Speaking to The Guardian, Miss Mantel said: "Immediately your eye measures the distance and I thought, if I wasn't me, if I was someone else, she'd be dead."
The story details the lead up to the assassination of Thatcher by a suspected IRA sniper from the bedroom window of a Windsor resident who seems unsympathetic to the Prime Minister's demise.
Locations such as Holy Trinity Church, Round Tower, Clarence Road, St Leonards Road, Peascod Street, Trinity Place, and Clarence Crescent are all mentioned.
Criticisms have been levelled at the author for her subject matter, with Lord Timothy Bell, former PR adviser to Margaret Thatcher, calling for Mantel to be investigated by police for her remarks.
But English Poets, Essayists and Novelists (PEN), the founding centre of a worldwide writers' association, has made a statement in support of Mantel .
Robert Sharp, head of campaigns at English PEN, said: 'It is most disturbing when politicians and commentators in a democracy start calling for censorship on the grounds of offence or bad taste.
"Not only does it undermine the right to freedom of expression in the UK, it sends a very poor signal to politicians in authoritarian regimes who sue, threaten and sometimes kill writers and journalists for satirising or criticising the political class."
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