Hilary Mantel, author of the bestselling Wolf Hall trilogy, has died “suddenly yet peacefully” at the age of 70.

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In a statement, her publisher 4th Estate said: “We are heartbroken at the death of our beloved author, Dame Hilary Mantel. Our thoughts are with her friends and family, especially her husband, Gerald. This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work.”

Mantel was best known for her Wolf Hall trilogy – “a fictional account of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in the court of Henry VIII,” said the BBC.

Diarmaid MacCulloch, Oxford theology professor and biographer of Thomas Cromwell, said of the epic: “Hilary has reset the historical patterns through the way in which she’s reimagined the man,” The Northern Echo reported.  

Following Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring Up the Bodies (2012), the conclusion to the trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, was published in 2020 to critical acclaim, becoming a bestseller and long-listed for the Booker Prize, Mantel having won the coveted award for the first two books. The trilogy has been translated into 41 languages and has sold more than five million copies.

In an interview with The Guardian, Mantel said the books had required years of historical research to ensure their accuracy. She said it was her aim to transport the reader to “that time and that place, putting you into Henry’s entourage”.

“The essence of the thing is not to judge with hindsight, not to pass judgement from the lofty perch of the 21st century when we know what happened,” she said. “It’s to be there with them in that hunting party at Wolf Hall, moving forward with imperfect information and perhaps wrong expectations, but in any case moving forward into a future that is not pre-determined, but where chance and hazard will play a terrific role.”

Writing career

Mantel was born in Derbyshire, and studied law at the London School of Economics and Sheffield University. She was a social worker before living and working in Botswana and Saudi Arabia. It was when she returned to the UK in 1986 that her writing career began to take off.

She became the film critic of The …read more

Source:: The Week – All news


Wolf Hall author Hilary Mantel dies aged 70

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