Author Hilary Mantel has died aged 70. Fourth Estate Books announced the news of her death on their Twitter page today, telling fans they were “heartbroken”. “Our thoughts are with her friends and family, especially her husband, Gerald,” the publishers added.
“This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work.”
Harper Collins said Hilary died “suddenly, yet peacefully” on Thursday surrounded by close family and friends.
They added: “This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work.”
Dame Hilary’s agent Bill Hamilton, at literary agency A.M. Heath, said it had been the “greatest privilege” to work with her.
He said: “Her wit, stylistic daring, creative ambition and phenomenal historical insight mark her out as one of the greatest novelists of our time.
“She will be remembered for her enormous generosity to other budding writers, her capacity to electrify a live audience, and the huge array of her journalism and criticism, producing some of the finest commentary on issues and books.”
He added that her emails were “sprinkled with bon mots and jokes as she observed the world with relish and pounced on the lazy or absurd and nailed cruelty and prejudice”.
Bill went on to say she had chronic health problems “which she dealt with so stoically”.
More tributes have flooded in for the late writer on social media.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “It is impossible to overstate the significance of the literary legacy Hilary Mantel leaves behind.
“Her brilliant Wolf Hall trilogy was the crowning achievement in an outstanding body of work. Rest in peace.”
Matthew Pennycook MP wrote: “Awful news. A huge loss.”
Harry Potter author JK Rowling commented: “We’ve lost a genius.”
Modhabobo typed: “Utterly heartbreaking to think of all the stories she had in her that we will never know. Love to her family in this awful time.”
“Shocking and terrible news. She was simply the finest novelist in Britain,” Gregory Norminton wrote.
Hilary’s award-winning trilogy was a fictional account of Thomas Cromwell’s role in the court of Henry VIII, which was later serialised by the BBC.
The writer won the Booker Prize twice, firstly for her 2009 novel Wolf Hall and again for Bring Up The Bodies three years later.
The final book in the trilogy, titled The Mirror and the Light, was released in 2020. It covered the last four years of the chief minister’s life.
Her first novel Every Day is Mother’s Day told of an agoraphobic clairvoyant, her daughter and their social worker.
Hilary was honoured a Damehood back in 2015 for her services to literature. She was also presented with a CBE in 2006.