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‘Wolf Hall’ Author Hilary Mantel Dies at 70

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Hilary Mantel, the two-time Booker Prize-winning British novelist best known for her books “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies”, has died. She was 70 years old.

Her death, believed to be surprising, was confirmed by her publishers 4th Estate Books and HarperCollins UK on Friday afternoon local time.

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In a similar statement posted on social media, 4th Estate Books and HarperCollins wrote: “Our thoughts are with the passing of our beloved author, 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. Such a wonderful job.”

Mantel is one of the UK’s most well-known authors. Although she has written more than a dozen books, she has primarily gained international acclaim in the last 15 years with the influential Tudor drama “Wolf Hole” – turned into an award-winning BBC drama, directed by Peter Kosminsky and starring Mark Rylance and Damien Lewis – and its sequel “Bring Up the Bodies”, both of which won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

According to HarperCollins UK, Mantel is the first British author and the first woman to win two Booker Prizes. Mantel is also the only writer to win two consecutive novels.

The cause of death has not been released yet, although Mantel has been active in recent months and even participated in a “questionnaire” interview with the Financial Times of London, published on September 10, and was asked which feature she finds “most disturbing” in the author’s mockery: “Conservative Party”.

Asked about her physique, Mantell – who was said to have long had endometriosis – replied: “When I was little, an unpleasant doctor called me little Miss Neverwell.” “Now I am a great lady Neverwell. My health is unexpected and a daily source of stress. But I am always looking for improvement.”

Mantell was born in North Derbyshire in 1952, and was educated at Abbey School in Cheshire. She attended the London School of Economics and the University of Sheffield, where she studied law.

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After graduating from college, Mantel worked for a time as a social worker in a geriatric hospital – experiences that informed her novels “Every Day Is Mother’s Day” and “Vacant Possession”.

In 1977, Mantell and her husband Gerald McQueen moved to Botswana, and in 1982 to Saudi Arabia. The events of the writer’s third novel, “Eight Months on Gaza Street”, takes place in Jeddah.

Mantel returned to the UK in 1986, and worked for a time as a film critic on Spectator. Her novel Flood won a number of British awards, while her fifth novel, A Place to Be Safer, won the Sunday Express Book of the Year.

Mantel became a worldwide sensation, however, with “Wolf Hall” winning the 2009 Man Booker Prize. The book, based on extensive years’ research in the Tudor period by Mantel, is a fictional biography of Thomas Cromwell and his rise to power in the court of Henry VIII. In the 2015 BBC drama, Rylance played Cromwell while Louis portrayed Henry VIII. The BAFTA-winning and Emmy-nominated show, which aired in the United States on PBS’ “Masterpiece”, also had a feature role from “The Crown” star Claire Foy, who played Anne Boleyn.

The sequel to Wolf Hall’s “Bring Up the Bodies” won the 2012 Man Booker Prize, while the writer’s latest effort and finale of the trilogy, “The Mirror and the Light,” was longlisted for the Man Booker.

Mantel was appointed Commander of the British Empire in 2006, and in 2014 she was awarded a lady. She is survived by her husband of 50 years, McEwen. The couple married in 1972 and divorced for several years, only to marry again.

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