Wolf Hall writer Dame Hilary Mantel has died “suddenly yet peacefully” surrounded by close family and friends aged 70

Hilary Mantel is a two-time winner of the Booker Prize for her best-selling novels, Wolf Hall, and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies.

The author of Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel, has died 'suddenly yet peacefully' says her publisher, Harper Collins.

In a statement, her publisher Fourth Estate books said: "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.

"This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work."

Author Dame Hilary Mantel has died “suddenly yet peacefully” surrounded by close family and friends, HarperCollins has announced.

She was 70.

The British writer won the Booker Prize twice, first for her 2009 novel Wolf Hall and again in 2012 for Bring Up The Bodies.

Hilary Mantel with her book 'The Mirror & The Light', the conclusion in her Cromwell sequence, during a preview event at Waterstones in London.
Hilary Mantel with her book 'The Mirror & The Light', the conclusion in her Cromwell sequence, during a preview event at Waterstones in London.
The author of Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel, has died 'suddenly yet peacefully' says her publisher, Harper Collins.
The author of Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel, has died 'suddenly yet peacefully' says her publisher, Harper Collins.

Bill Hamilton, Dame Hilary’s agent 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.

“Emails from Hilary 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.

“There was always a slight aura of otherworldliness about her, as she saw and felt things us ordinary mortals missed, but when she perceived the need for confrontation she would fearlessly go into battle.

“And all of that against the backdrop of chronic health problems, which she dealt with so stoically. We will miss her immeasurably, but as a shining light for writers and readers she leaves an extraordinary legacy. Our thoughts go out to her beloved husband Gerald, family and friends.”

Paying tribute, publishers HarperCollins described Dame Hilary as "one of the greatest English novelists of this century

Fans of Mantel took to Twitter to share their condolences, with one user saying: "Very sad news. Her writing was sublime. I still have goosebumps thinking about how she wrote Cromwell's death, his internal dialogue, keeping with the 1st person narrative... Truly extraordinary. RIP."

Another added: "How very, very sad. Huge condolences to her family and friends and to her fans around the globe. What a terrible loss. I'm so sorry to hear this."