Facts about Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel is 68 years old
Born: July 6, 1952
Birthplace: Glossop, England
Best known as: The author of 'Wolf Hall'

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Hilary Mantel Biography

Name at birth: Hilary Mary Thompson

Hilary Mantel’s fictional account of King Henry VIII‘s minister Thomas Cromwell earned her the Man Booker Prize twice — for Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, the first two novels of a trilogy.

Mantel began her career studying law, and earned a degree in Jurisprudence in 1973. Rather than go into law, however, Mantel began writing novels.

She had a long journey to fame. In the meantime, she and her husband lived in Botswana and Saudi Arabia, with Mantel often suffering ill health and pain from endometriosis.

Her first novel, Every Day is Mother’s Day, was published in 1985.

Since her first novel, Mantel has been a prolific essayist and reviewer, and the author of historical fiction that pleases critics and sells.

Wolf Hall was made into a TV mini-series in 2015, starring Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis.

Mantel’s other books include the memoir Giving Up the Ghost (2003), and the novels A Place of Greater Safety (written in the 1970s, but not published until 1992), Fludd (1989), The Giant, O’Brien (1998) and Beyond Black (2005).

Extra credit

Hilary Mantel caused a kerfuffle in 2015, with the publication of the fantasy story “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher.”


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