June 19, 2018
Cyrus Amiri

Cyrus Amiri

Academic rank: Assistant professor
Address: English Department / Faculty of Forign Languages and Literatures / Sanandaj 66177-15175 / Iran.
Education: PhD. in English Language and Literature
Faculty: Faculty of Literature and Foreign Languages


Postmodern Theory of Literary Historiography: Fictionalization of History in Hilary mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies
Type Thesis
Hayden White, Hilary Mantel, Fictionalization of history, postmodern literary historiography, relativity of reality, new versions of history
Researchers Somaye Ahmadi، Zakarya Bezdoode، Cyrus Amiri


The present research seeks to critically analyze Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies based on the literary historiographical theories of Hayden White. The long historical novels, Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring Up the Bodies (2012) are fictionalized accounts of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in the court of Henry VIII. This fictionalized account of the Tudor history reflects several ideas of the postmodern philosophy of history which are mostly proposed by Hayden White as an influential figure in the area of historiography and literary criticism. Hayden White is a prominent figure in the field of history. One of his significant works, Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in the Nineteenth Century Europe 1973), is marked as the turning point in historical theory. Hayden White aestheticized historiography and regarded it as a linguistic construction which is not different from literature. The history of Tudors, and specifically of King Henry VIII, has been an interesting subject matter for most historian and novelists and it has been frequently investigated by them. Mantel deals with the historical facts impressively and tries to demonstrate facts and at the same time create a new version of the issues of the Tudor period. She tries to tell the readers that it is possible to have many different versions of the historical reality and this is something that postmodernists view on the relativity of reality. The novel provides corresponding peculiarities with the postmodern approach of historiography that is generated by Hayden White, since he believes that there could be different versions of historical facts and it is the choice of the historian or the writer of historical fiction how to interpret the reality and make his own version of it. In this research, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies as the two contemporary historical novels, will be investigated based on the theories of postmodern philosophy of history and literary historiography.