The literary world is paying tribute to Wolf Hall author Hilary Mantel following her death

Written by Amy Beecham

The Wolf Hall trilogy author’s death was announced by her publisher, Harper Collins, on social media earlier today. 

Dame Hilary Mantel, author of the bestselling Wolf Hall trilogy, has died aged 70, her publisher has confirmed.

“It is with great sadness that A M Heath and HarperCollins announce that bestselling author Dame Hilary Mantel DBE died suddenly yet peacefully yesterday, surrounded by close family and friends, aged 70,” the statement said.⁠

⁠“Hilary Mantel was one of the greatest English novelists of this century and her beloved works are considered modern classics. She will be greatly missed.”

In a further statement shared on social media, 4th Estate Books wrote: “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.”

With works that have sold more than 1.5 million print copies worldwide, Mantel’s historical fiction was both critically acclaimed and graced the bookshelves of households across the world.

She was awarded the Booker Prize twice throughout her career, first for 2009’s Wolf Hall, the first in the Thomas Cromwell series, and then in 2012 for its follow-up, Bring Up the Bodies.

Stylist Group’s production director and books editor Amy Davies Adams reflected: “She was a writer loved by both readers and critics alike, thanks to her bestselling trilogy about the life of Thomas Cromwell.

“The first two titles in the series – Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies – made her the first woman, and only the fourth person ever, to win the Booker Prize twice, while the third instalment, The Mirror And The Light, saw people queueing through the night to get their hands on a copy. She will be much missed, but leaves behind her a hugely impressive body of work.”

Following the news, public figures and fans alike have been taking to social media to remember Mantel and the impact her books had on them.

“Hilary Mantel’s mind was one of the most powerful and magic machines on Earth. We were lucky she wrote as much as she did, but holy hell, it’s devastating that we’ve collectively lost something so astonishing,” shared writer Caitlin Moran.

“Such terribly sad news. It is impossible to overstate the significance of the literary legacy Hilary Mantel leaves behind. Her brilliant Wolf Hall trilogy was the crowning achievement in an outstanding body of work. Rest in peace,” wrote Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister. 

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Dame Hilary Mantel and would like to extend our sympathies to her friends, family and all at @4thEstateBooks. It has been one of our greatest pleasures to be so closely involved in such an impressive body of work. She was a genius,” added booksellers Waterstones.

Images: Getty

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