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Insights: Faust

Man Booker Prize-winning author Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall, Bring up the Bodies) explores the nature of the modern pact with the devil, and how we can recognize him when he visits us.

Background

Hilary Mantel (who has twice won the Man Booker Prize for her novels Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies of her Thomas Cromwell Trilogy) explains how, while growing up, the devil was a vital presence in her life - therefore it was only natural that he should feature in her dynamic and vivid novels. Having explored the devil's many guises in her fiction, in this special talk she traces his presence in the 21st century. Her journey takes us from contemporary rumours that Anne Boleyn had sold her soul to be queen through to the nature of our modern pact with the devil, and how we can recognize him when he visits us.

Violinist David Le Page joins Mantel on stage playing a selection of caprices by Paganini, a composer reputed to have sold his soul to the devil in return for his musical genius.