Two-time Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel died on 23rd September 2022 at the age of 70. His literary legacy was filled with personal memoirs and short stories.
What set Hilary Mantel apart from the rest was her art of turning historical incidents into fictional accounts that remained historically accurate. Two of his such books, hall of wolves (2009) and its sequel, Bring up the bodies (2012), received the Booker Prize, while the third part of the book, The mirror and the light was nominated for the same award.
Influence of history and personal experiences in the writings of Hilary Mantel
Hilary Mantel has started writing her first novel A safer place, in 1974 about the French Revolution. The novel revolved around the lives of three revolutionaries and their journey from childhood to becoming revolutionaries. But the book was not published until 1992 because no one was ready to publish it. Later, the book won the Sunday Express Book of the Year award.
Mantel’s first officially published book was Every day is mother’s day, which was published in 1985. The book highlighted Mantel’s experiences while working in the social work department of a geriatric hospital. Although the book is of the fiction genre.
Apart from that, she has written many short stories. One of his collections of short stories is called The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher. Which she talked about in an interview published in The Guardian, in 2014, that she had always fantasized about the murder of the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and fictionalized the event in a short story.
His award-winning book Booker, hall of wolves (2009) revolved around the historic event of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power at the court of Henry VIII. This book turned out to be a masterpiece and also received critical acclaim. The sequel to the book was called Bring the bodies (2012) which continued the story and was also awarded the Booker Prize.
The last book in this series was The mirror and the light (2020) which completed the Thomas Cromwell trilogy and Hilary Mantel’s writing career.
His death was confirmed by his publisher, the Fourth Edition, on their Twitter account.
We are heartbroken at the death of our beloved author, Dame Hilary Mantel, and our hearts go out to her friends and family, especially her husband, Gerald. It is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful to him for leaving us such a magnificent job. pic.twitter.com/d8bzkBBXuH
— 4th Estate Books (@4thEstateBooks) September 23, 2022
Many authors paid tribute to Hilary Mantel and expressed their grief on their respective handles on social media.
Author Sam Knight wrote a note as he lost his favorite writer.
Hilary Mantel was the only person who ever sent me an email that left me in tears, despite loving my book. He was my favorite writer: the one I was most afraid to read, because what was important, given his sentences, his soul and his spirit. What a wonderful ghost she will be.
— Sam Knight (@samknightwrites) September 23, 2022
Journalist and author Lucia Osborne Crowley shared an excerpt from one of Hilary Mantel’s writings on her twitter.
Beautiful passage from Hilary Mantel: “You glimpse the ghosts of other lives you might have led; all the houses are haunted. pic.twitter.com/7L39dyf392
— Lucia Osborne-Crowley (@LuciaOC_) September 23, 2022
Ancient New York Times’ Book reviewer Parul Sehgal called the loss of Hilary Mantel “a robbery of sorts”.
The loss of Hilary Mantel feels like a theft in a way. All those books we still needed from her. This lavish imagination, this sparkling understanding of power. From the final book in the trilogy: “It’s what life does for you in the end; he’s setting up a fight that you can’t win.
— Parul Sehgal (@parul_sehgal) September 23, 2022