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Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall trilogy, dies aged 70 | UK News




Double Booker Award winner Dame Hilary Mantel and author of the epic Wolf Hole trilogy has died at the age of 70.

Her Fourth Books Publishing House said in a statement: “Our hearts are saddened by the passing of our beloved writer Mrs. Hilary Mantell, and our thoughts are with her friends and family, and especially her husband, Gerald.

“This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful that she left us with such a wonderful job.”

The Derbyshire-born British writer won a Booker Prize for Wolf Hall, and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies.

The trilogy’s finale, Mirror and Light, was published in 2020. It was an instant bestseller, and was longlisted for the Booker Prize in the same year, winning the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, which it won first for Wolf Hall.

The trilogy, which depicts the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell at the court of King Henry VIII, made her a world star.

It has been translated into 41 languages, with sales of over five million worldwide.

The first two books were adapted for the screen and broadcast on BBC 2 in January 2015, and the six-part series was critically acclaimed, attracting an average audience of over four million viewers.

Directed by Peter Kosminsky, the series stars Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell, Damien Lewis as Henry VIII, and Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn.

At the 2016 TV BAFTAs, he won Best Drama Series, while Rylance won Best Actor for his performance. At the Golden Globes in the same year, he was awarded the title for Best Small Series.

In honor, Harry Potter author JK Rowling shared a tweet from 4th Estate Books announcing Mantel’s death, writing, “We’ve lost a genius.”

Writer Hilary Mantell poses with the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) award at Buckingham Palace after Prince Charles' inauguration in London on February 6, 2015. REUTERS/Philip Toscano/POOL (UK - Tags: ROYALS SOCIETY ENTERTAINMENT)

Publishers HarperCollins described Mrs. Hillary as “one of the greatest English novelists of the century”.

“Her beloved works are modern classics, and we will miss them very much.”

Her writing career spanned decades, from publishing her first novel Every Day Is Mother’s Day in 1985, to becoming a film critic for Spectator magazine in 1987, before regularly winning literary awards for her books.

Nicholas Pearson, the former publishing director of the 4th Estate and long-term editor of Dame Hilary, revealed that she was working on a new book.

I sat with her just last month on a sunny afternoon in Devon, while she was talking enthusiastically about the new novel she had set out to write.


“It is unbearable for us not to enjoy her words anymore. What we have is a body of work that will be read for generations. We must be grateful for that. I will miss her and my thoughts are with her husband Gerald.”

May 17 14 file photo of writer Hilary Mantel attending a press launch for the new theatrical production of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, at 1 Whitehall Place in London.  .  Wolfhall writer has died

When she won her first Booker Prize, Mrs. Hilary famously said she would spend the money on “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll”. The second time I joked about rehab.

She was no stranger to controversy and has been outspoken on a number of topics including the monarchy – and Brexit, saying in 2021 she hopes to take Irish citizenship, leave the country and become “European again”.

In 2013, she famously spoke about forcing Kate Middleton – now Princess of Wales – to publicly introduce herself as a depersonalized “shop window model”.

In an interview the following year, she recalled that she had imagined the murder of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, which she later wrote as a short story.

She was also vocal in her desire for the United Kingdom to become a republic, and described the “monarchy’s howl” as “irrational”.

The writer also criticized the Catholic Church in 2012, saying it was no longer an “institution of respectable persons”.

Writer Hilary Mantell attends a book signing for her new novel

The author suffered from a chronic illness throughout her life, suffering from a severe form of endometriosis that took many years to diagnose and left her unable to bear children.

Bill Hamilton, Dame Hillary’s agent at literary agency AM Heath, said working with her has been a “great privilege” throughout her career, adding that she will also be remembered for her “ability to impress live audiences.”

“Her intelligence, stylistic audacity, creative ambition, and formidable historical insight make her one of the greatest novelists of our time,” he said.

“Emails from Hillary have been sprinkled with kind jokes and jokes as she watches the world with amusement and pounces on laziness or silly, cruelty and prejudice,” he said.

“There was always a slight aura of another world around her, as she saw and felt things that we ordinary mortals would miss, but when she realized the need for confrontation, she would fight the battle fearlessly.

“And all against the background of chronic health problems that she dealt so rigorously with. We will miss her immeasurably, but as a shining light for writers and readers she leaves an extraordinary legacy. Our thoughts go to her beloved husband Gerald, family and friends.”

Actress Ben Miles, who played Cromwell in both stage and screen adaptations of Wolf Hall and helped Mantel adapt the third book in her trilogy for the West End stage told Sky News, “She was an extraordinary woman. A good friend and close colleague. I feel very proud to have known her.” And to have contributed in a small way to the work of one of the greatest writers of our time. I will sorely miss her kindness, humor, and the indisputable genius of her words.”

Mantell leaves behind her husband of over 40 years, Gerald.


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