Death of Hilary Mantel 'an Enormous Loss to Literature'

British writer who wrote historical fiction about Thomas Cromwell suffered a stroke
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 23, 2022 6:34 AM CDT
Hilary Mantel, Author of Wolf Hall Trilogy, Dies at 70
In this Oct. 8, 2009 file photo, Hilary Mantel is seen with her book "Wolf Hall" in London.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

Hilary Mantel, the Booker Prize-winning author of the acclaimed Wolf Hall saga, has died. She was 70. Mantel died "suddenly yet peacefully," surrounded by close family and friends, publisher HarperCollins said Friday, per the AP. Her longtime literary agent, Bill Hamilton, confirmed to the New York Times that she died of a stroke at a hospital in Exeter, England. Deemed "one of the greatest English novelists of this century" by her publisher, Mantel is credited with reenergizing historical fiction with Wolf Hall and two sequels about the 16th-century English power broker Thomas Cromwell.

Mantel won the Booker Prize twice, for Wolf Hall in 2009 and for sequel Bring Up the Bodies in 2012. Both were adapted for the stage and television. The final installment, The Mirror & the Light, was published in 2020. The Guardian notes that the Wolf Hall trilogy has so far sold 5 million copies around the globe and seen more than 40 translations. Mantel, who originally started out as a social worker, was awarded a damehood in 2014 in the United Kingdom for her contributions to literature, per the BBC.

Mantel is survived by her husband, Gerald McEwan, whom she'd once divorced, only to remarry again. She never had children, due to a severe form of endometriosis that left her in chronic pain. "My life's been needlessly hard and obstructed because of it," she told the Times of London in 2012, though she added, "I've been ever hopeful with every crisis." HarperCollins said in its statement: "Her beloved works are considered modern classics. She will be greatly missed." Hamilton, meanwhile, tells the Times, "She had so many great novels ahead of her. It's just an enormous loss to literature." He adds that she'd been working on a new book before she died.

(Read more Hilary Mantel stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.