Famed British writer Hilary Mantel has died at the age of 70, her publisher announced on Friday.
“It is with great sadness that AM Heath and HarperCollins announce that best-selling author Dame Hilary Mantel DBE passed away suddenly but peacefully yesterday, surrounded by close family and friends, at the age of 70,” HarperCollins said in a statement.
“Hilary Mantel was one of the greatest English writers of this century, and her favorite works are considered modern classics. She will be greatly missed.”
Mantel was best known for her extensive Wolf Hall trilogy about the life of 16th-century statesman Thomas Cromwell. She has twice received the prestigious Booker Prize for wolf hall and its continuation Raise the bodies– which have been adapted for television and a successful show in the West End.
The last part of the series Mirror and lightwas published and received wide recognition in 2020.
Before writing the trilogy that made her a literary superstar, Mantel released other popular novels, including epic historical fiction. A place of greater safety, which followed the central characters of the French Revolution. Her first novel, a black comedy based on her experience in a geriatric hospital. Every day is mother’s daywas published in 1985.
Nicholas Pearson, longtime editor at Mantel, called her death “devastating”.
“Just last month, I sat with her on a sunny afternoon in Devon as she excitedly talked about the new romance she’s taken on,” he told The Associated Press. “The fact that we will no longer enjoy her words is unbearable. What we have is a work that will be read by generations.”
During her illustrious writing career, Mantel has received numerous awards, including being made a Dame – the female equivalent of a knight – by Queen Elizabeth II in 2014.
In an article published in Financial Times Earlier this month, Mantel was asked what she would have done differently. “Run away from some people who are toxic,” she replied. “I don’t have a built-in toximeter. Perhaps one of them should be refurbished.”
The author also claimed to believe in an afterlife. “I can’t imagine how this could work,” she said. “However, the universe is not limited to what I can imagine.”