Wolf Hall author Hilary Mantel dies

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Award-winning British author Dame Hilary Mantel has died at the age of 70.

Publishers HarperCollins and 4th Estate Books released the same statement on Twitter on Friday in which they announced that Mantel had died on Thursday.

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

In a press release, HarperCollins officials revealed that Mantel died "suddenly yet peacefully" surrounded by her family and friends.

"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," they added.

Mantel is best known for her works of historical fiction, particularly her Thomas Cromwell trilogy, which charted the rise and fall of the powerful minister in the court of King Henry VIII. The trilogy began in 2009 with Wolf Hall, continued with 2012's Bring Up the Bodies and concluded with The Mirror and the Light in 2020.

The first two instalments in the series won the Booker Prize, making Mantel the first and only woman to win the honour twice.

All three of the novels have been adapted for the stage by the Royal Shakespeare Company, while the first two were also adapted into the 2015 BBC miniseries Wolf Hall, starring Mark Rylance as Cromwell, Damian Lewis as Henry VIII and Claire Foy as his wife Anne Boleyn.

Mantel was made a dame in 2014.

She is survived by her husband Gerald McEwen.