Hilary Mantel CBE is an award-winning English writer, whose work has ranged from personal memoir and short stories to historical fiction and essays. She is the author of 13 books, two of which were awarded the Man Booker Prize.
The winner of her first Booker Prize was entitled “Wolf Hall” (Fourth Estate, 2009), which focused on the fictional rise to power of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII. This was followed by the sequel “Bring Up the Bodies” (Fourth Estate, 2012), which won Hilary an unprecedented second Booker Prize. The third instalment of the Thomas Cromwell trilogy, “The Mirror and the Light”, is due to be published in 2015.
Having lived in Botswana for five years, and Saudi Arabia for four, Hilary published her first novel in 1985 and returned to Britain a year later. In 1987 she was awarded the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for travel writing, and became the film critic of the Spectator. Her fourth novel, “Fludd” (Fourth Estate, 1989), was awarded the Cheltenham Festival Prize, the Southern Arts Literature Prize, and the Winifred Holtby Prize. Her fifth novel, “A Place of Greater Safety” (Picador, 1992), won the Sunday Express Book of the Year Award, whilst “Beyond Black”, published in 2005, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize.
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Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
‘Lock Cromwell in a deep dungeon in the morning,’ says Thomas More, ‘and when you come back that night he’ll be sitting on a plush cushion eating larks’ tongues, and all the gaolers will owe him money.’
England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey’s clerk, and later his successor.
Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel
With a historic win for ‘Bring Up the Bodies’, Hilary Mantel becomes the first British author and the first woman to be awarded two Man Booker Prizes (her first was for ‘Wolf Hall’ in 2009).
By 1535 Thomas Cromwell is Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes having risen with those of Anne Boleyn, the king’s new wife. But Anne has failed to give the king an heir, and Cromwell watches as Henry falls for plain Jane Seymour. Cromwell must find a solution that will satisfy Henry, safeguard the nation and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge unscathed from the bloody theatre of Anne’s final days.
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