British author Hilary Mantel passed away on Thursday. Her publisher HarperCollins has announced this. In her last hours she was surrounded by family and friends. Mantel was seventy years old. It is unknown what caused the author’s death.
Mantel was one of the greatest British novelists of this century. Her works are considered modern classics. She wrote seventeen critically acclaimed books. Mantel has twice won the prestigious Man Booker Prize. In 2009 for Wolf Hall and in 2012 for Bring Up the Bodies. The author was the first Briton and the first woman to receive this award twice.
The bestselling author is best known for the Wolf Hall-trilogy. The historical, partly fictional, novels deal with the life years of Thomas Cromwell, the most powerful person at the court of Henry VIII of England. The series has been translated into 41 languages and has sold more than five million copies worldwide. For the second part, Bring Up the Bodies, in addition to a Man Booker Prize, Mantel also won the Costa Book Award in 2012. That year she was named Writer of the Year for the second time at the British Book Awards, as in 2010. A six-part BBC series featuring the first two books, was awarded a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. The sequel, a film adaptation of the third and final book, is planned.
Mantel was born on July 6, 1952 in a town just outside Manchester. She grew up in Glossop and studied law in Sheffield, not far from there. She worked as a social worker and lived with her husband, geologist Gerald McEwen, in several countries. She lived in Botswana and Saudi Arabia before returning to the UK in the 1980s. Just before her death she moved to Ireland with her husband.
Charlie Redmayne, the CEO of publishing house HarperCollins, reacts with sadness to Mantel’s unexpected death. “Hilary was one of the greatest of her generation. We will miss her companionship, wisdom and humor and cherish her literary legacy.” Mantel’s agent at AM Heath publishers, Bill Hamilton, praises her “creative ambition and phenomenal historical insight.” British authors react on Twitter to the sudden loss of their vaunted colleague. “We have lost a genius”
JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter-books.
We’ve lost a genius. https://t.co/SM5UlOBFtw— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 23, 2022
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