Gerald McEwen is a geologist who is also best known for being the husband of Hilary Mantel, a British writer. Mantel is reported to have passed away on Sept 22, 2022, at 70. She is remembered for her historical fiction works, personal memoirs, and short stories.
Gerald McEwen & Hilary Mantel
Mantel married geologist Gerald McEwen in 1973. In 1974, she began writing a novel about the French Revolution, published in 1992 as A Place of Greater Safety. In 1977, Mantel moved to Botswana with her husband, where they lived for the next five years. Later, they spent four years in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She published a memoir of this period in the London Review of Books. She later said leaving Jeddah felt like “the happiest day of [her] life”.
💍 Gerald McEwen is her husband of 49 years (with a break of two, when they got divorced and then remarried) and a retired geologist.
They met when they were 16 and married four years later. For a decade they have lived in Devon, in an apartment overlooking the sea pic.twitter.com/VvWG3KSWiQ
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) May 1, 2021
They divorced in 1981 but remarried in 1982. McEwen gave up geology to manage his wife’s business. They lived in Budleigh Salterton, Devon.
Hilary Mantel Death & Cause
Mantel had a debilitating and painful illness. She was initially diagnosed with a psychiatric illness, hospitalized, and treated with antipsychotic drugs, reportedly producing psychotic symptoms. Mantel consequently refrained from seeking help from doctors for some years.
In Botswana and desperate, she consulted a medical textbook and realised she was probably suffering from a severe form of endometriosis, a diagnosis confirmed by doctors in London.
This disorder affects the womb and necessitated a long stay in hospital for Mantel in 2010. Although she has suffered for many years, it was initially dismissed by doctors as a psychiatric illness, meaning that she didn’t receive treatment until much later than she should have.
The treatment has left her unable to bear children, and the steroids she needs to take have caused her to gain weight and significantly changed her appearance.
The condition and (at the time) necessary surgery – surgical menopause at the age of 27 – left her unable to have children and continued to disrupt her life. The steroids she needed caused her to gain weight and significantly change her appearance.
She later said, “you’ve thought your way through questions of fertility and menopause and what it means to be without children because it all happened catastrophically”. This led Mantel to see the problematised woman’s body as a theme in her writing.
Mantel was patron and a supporter of the Endometriosis SHE Trust.
Mantel died on 22 September 2022 at the age of 70.