One of Britain’s greatest living novelists, Hilary Mantel worked as a social worker and journalist, living for some time in Botswana and Saudi Arabia, before she published her first novel, Eight Months on Ghazzah Street, in 1988. Her early work garnered numerous awards including Fludd which won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, the Cheltenham Prize and the Southern Arts Literature Prize and A Place of Greater Safety, an epic story of the French revolution which won the Sunday Express Book of the Year award.
In the early 2000’s received great acclaim for her experimental biography, Giving Up the Ghost and the haunting psychological novel Beyond Black which was shortlisted for a 2006 Commonwealth Writers Prize and for the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction. She achieved worldwide fame with her sequence about the life of Thomas Cromwell, Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies, with the two volumes both winning The Booker Prize in 2009 and 2012. Wolf Hall also received the Walter Scott Prize and was shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Novel Award and 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction. In 2014, she caused a furore with her provocatively titled collection, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher. She is currently working on the next novel in her Cromwell sequence, titled The Mirror and the Light.
The bookies favourite from the moment of the Man Booker Prize 2009 longlist announcement, Wolf Hall’s reputation as a masterpiece has only solidified since – cemented by the sequence’s second novel Bring up The Bodies, also winning the prize in 2012. Following the meteoric rise of Thomas Cromwell through the devious machinations of the court of Henry VIII, it’s impossible to imagine a more gripping, moving, thoroughly immersive and wholly believable historical novel. A perfect study of political intrigue, vaulting ambition and real human lives swept up in the relentless turn of the wheel of power.
The Cromwell Sequence