Hilary Mantel was the oldest child of Irish Catholic immigrants. Educated at a convent school, she also studied law at the London School of Economics. Instead of practicing law, however, she became a social worker and then realized that what she really wanted to do was write. She has lived in Africa and in Saudi Arabia, the settings for various of her novels. In 1987 she was awarded the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize. In addition to writing fiction, Mantel also writes book reviews and short stories. Married to a geologist, Mantel has no children: misdiagnosed in her youth, she was finally proved to have endometriosis, which made her infertile--a condition that, she says in her autobiography published in 2003, has been one of the vital and devastating facts of her life. WOLF HALL, Mantel's captivating fictional revision of the life of Thomas Cromwell, won her the 2009 Man Booker Prize.
"The wonder of Ms. Mantel's retelling [of the story of Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell] is that she makes these events fresh and terrifying all over again."
"[I]t is more than the equal of its predecessor when it comes to intensity and drama, its portrait of Cromwell ever more evocative and nuanced."
"[I]t's astringent and purifying, stripping away the cobwebs and varnish of history, the antique formulations and brocaded sentimentality of costume-drama novels, so that the English past comes to seem like something vivid, strange and brand new."
"[I]f you're someone who devours business books about snaring that corner office, you'll discover that Mantel's novel brims with timeless career advice about the grabbing and keeping of power, even though codpieces are no longer de rigueur."
From the Publisher
The sequel to Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Wolf Hall delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne's head?
Hilary Mantel's BRING UP THE BODIES follows WOLF HALL--her account of the intrigue in the court of Henry VIII. Both novels won the Man Booker Prize in consecutive years. BRING UP THE BODIES was selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the Ten Best Books of 2012.