‘Wolf Hall’ trilogy novelist Hilary Mantel, who won the Booker twice, dies aged 70

The literary world lost a stalwart on Friday. Hilary Mantel, who won the Booker Prize twice in her lifetime, passed away. She was 70.

Mantel was best known for her historical trilogy about the life of Thomas Cromwell. It was an effort for which she was recognised with the Booker Prize, twice – for ‘Wolf Hall‘ and its sequel ‘Bring Up the Bodies’. The final in the series, ‘The Mirror & the Light’, was published in March 2020. The success of the books saw them being filmed for TV and theatre as well. The ‘Wolf Hall’ trilogy, serialised by the BBC, charted the fortunes of Cromwell and his spectacular rise from the streets of London to the chief minister of King Henry VIII.

Her death was announced on Friday by her literary agents, A.M. Heath and publishers Harper Collins, who said she “died suddenly yet peacefully yesterday, surrounded by close family and friends”.

Her ‘Wolf Hall’ trilogy has been translated into 41 languages and has sold more than 5 million copies.

Mantel, who was born in Derbyshire, studied at the London School of Economics. She then worked for a while in Botswana and Saudi Arabia before deciding to return to the UK to pursue a literary career.

“I first met Hilary in 1984 after she sent in the manuscript of Every Day is Mother’s Day. It has been the greatest privilege to work with her through the whole of her career, and to see all the elements that made her unique come together spectacularly in The Wolf Hall Trilogy,” her agent Bill Hamilton was quoted as saying to the
Evening Standard. .


FILE PHOTO: Author Hilary Mantel poses with her book “Wolf Hall” after winning the 2009 Man Booker Prize for Fiction at the Guildhall in London October 6, 2009.

Hamilton also said that her wit, stylistic daring, creative ambition and phenomenal historical insight made her as “one of the greatest novelists of our time”.

Mantel is survived by her husband Gerald.

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