London-Historical novelist Hilary Mantel, the first British writer to win the Booker Prize twice, has died aged 70, her publishers 4th Estate Books announced on Friday. “We are heartbroken at the death of our beloved author, Dame Hilary Mantel, and our thoughts are with her friends and family, especially her husband, Gerald,” a statement said, without providing any other details. “This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work.” Mantel won the Booker Prize for her works “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies”. “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,” the publisher added. Nicholas Pearson, former 4th Estate publishing director, said news of her death was “devastating”. “Hilary had a unique outlook on the world -- she picked it apart and revealed how it works in both her contemporary and historical novels -- every book an unforgettable weave of luminous sentences, unforgettable characters and remarkable insight.
Hilary Mantel, whose death was announced on Friday, communed with ghosts throughout her life: the ghosts from history that stalked her fiction, the ghosts of her Irish Catholic ancestors and the ghosts of her unborn children. The British author’s accomplishments, however, were very real. There were midnight queues outside bookshops for her last novel, the conclusion to her trilogy about the tumultuous life of Thomas Cromwell, the scheming chief minister to King Henry VIII.
Mantel, who was 70, became the first British writer, and first woman, to win the prestigious Booker Prize twice with the first two novels in the series, “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies”.