Tributes paid to Wolf Hall author Dame Hilary Mantel who has died aged 70

·2-min read
Novelist Hilary Mantel (Hilary Mantel)
Novelist Hilary Mantel (Hilary Mantel)

Tributes have been paid to the novelist Dame Hilary Mantel who has died aged 70.

Her long-term editor, Nicholas Pearson, said her death was “devastating” for all those who knew and worked with her as he hailed her “unique outlook on the world”.

Pearson added: “As a person, Hilary was kind and generous and loving, always a great champion of other writers. She was a joy to work with…

“That we won’t have the pleasure of any more of her words is unbearable. What we do have is a body of work that will be read for generations. We must be grateful for that. I will miss her and my thoughts are with her husband Gerald.”

Historian Lucy Worsley described her as “a goddess”.

In a statement, the Royal Shakespeare Company which brought her books to the stage, said it was “saddened” by the news.

JK Rowling said: “We’ve lost a genius”.

Dame Hilary’s death was announced on Friday by her literary agents, A.M. Heath and publishers Harper Collins, who said she “died suddenly yet peacefully yesterday, surrounded by close family and friends”.

Best known for her best-selling historical trilogy about the life of Thomas Cromwell, she won the Booker twice - for Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies. The books were filmed for TV and became a hit West End show.

Charlie Redmayne, the CEO of her publishers HarperCollins, said it was “terrible, tragic news”.

He said: “A writer to the core, Hilary was one of the greatest of her generation – a serious, fearless novelist with huge empathy for her subjects. Who else could have brought Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII and the huge cast of The Wolf Hall Trilogy to life with such insight, frailty and humanity but her? We will all miss Hilary’s company, her wisdom, her humour, and treasure her incredible literary legacy – she will be read as long as people are still reading.’”