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Hilary Mantel was a British writer whose work includes historical fiction, personal memoirs and short stories. Her first novel, Every Day is Mother’s Day was published in 1985. She went on to write twelve novels, two collections of short stories, a personal memoir, and numerous articles and opinion pieces. Mantel won the Booker Prize twice: the first was for the 2009 novel Wolf Hall, a fictional account of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in the court of Henry VIII, and the second was for its 2012 sequel Bring Up the Bodies. The third instalment of the Cromwell trilogy, The Mirror & the Light, was longlisted for the same prize.
|Net Worth||$5 million|
Dame Hilary Mary Mantel, DBE, FRSL whose birth name is Hilary Mary Thompson was born on July 6, 1952, until her death on September 22, 2022. She died at the age of 70 years. She was born and raised in Glossop, Derbyshire, United Kingdom. She is the eldest of three children and was raised as a Catholic in the mill village of Hadfield where she attended St Charles Roman Catholic Primary School. Her parents, Margaret (née Foster) and Henry Thompson, were both of Irish descent but born in England. Her parents separated and she did not see her father after the age of eleven. The family, without her father but with Jack Mantel (1932–1995), who by now had moved in with them, relocated to Romiley, Cheshire, and Jack became her unofficial stepfather. At this point she took her de facto stepfather’s surname legally.
Mantel attended Harrytown Convent school in Romiley, Cheshire. In 1970, she began her studies at the London School of Economics to read law. She transferred to the University of Sheffield and graduated as Bachelor of Jurisprudence in 1973. After university, Mantel worked in the social work department of a geriatric hospital and then as a sales assistant in a department store.
Hilary Mantel’s first novel, Every Day is Mother’s Day, was published in 1985, and its sequel, Vacant Possession, a year later. After returning to England, she became the film critic of The Spectator, a position she held from 1987 to 1991, and a reviewer for a number of papers and magazines in Britain and the United States. Her novel Eight Months on Ghazzah Street (1988), which drew on her life in Saudi Arabia, uses a threatening clash of values between the neighbours in a city apartment block to explore the tensions between Islamic culture and the liberal West.
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Mantel’s Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize-winning novel Fludd is set in 1956 in a fictitious northern village called Fetherhoughton, centring on a Roman Catholic church and a convent. A mysterious stranger brings about transformations in the lives of those around him. A Place of Greater Safety (1992) won the Sunday Express Book of the Year award, for which her two previous books had been shortlisted. A long and historically accurate novel, it traces the career of three French revolutionaries, Danton, Robespierre and Camille Desmoulins, from childhood to their early deaths during the Reign of Terror of 1794.
A Change of Climate (1994), set in rural Norfolk, explores the lives of Ralph and Anna Eldred, as they raise their four children and devote their lives to charity. It includes chapters about their early married life as missionaries in South Africa, when they were imprisoned and deported to Bechuanaland, and the tragedy that occurred there.
An Experiment in Love (1996), which won the Hawthornden Prize, takes place over two university terms in 1970. It follows the progress of three girls – two friends and one enemy – as they leave home and attend university in London. Margaret Thatcher makes a cameo appearance in this novel, which explores women’s appetites and ambitions, and suggests how they are often thwarted. Though Mantel used material from her own life, it is not an autobiographical novel.
Hilary Mantel’s next book, The Giant, O’Brien (1998), is set in the 1780s, and is based on the true story of Charles Byrne (or O’Brien). He came to London to earn money by displaying himself as a freak. His bones hang today in the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons. The novel treats O’Brien and his antagonist, the Scots surgeon John Hunter, less as characters in history than as mythic protagonists in a dark and violent fairytale, necessary casualties of the Age of Enlightenment. She adapted the book for BBC Radio 4, in a play starring Alex Norton (as Hunter) and Frances Tomelty.
Mantel published her memoir, Giving Up the Ghost, in 2003 which won the MIND “Book of the Year” award. That same year she brought out a collection of short stories, Learning To Talk. All the stories deal with childhood and, taken together, the books show how the events of a life are mediated as fiction. Her 2005 novel, Beyond Black, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. Set in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it features a professional medium, Alison Hart, whose calm and jolly exterior conceals grotesque psychic damage. She trails around with her a troupe of “fiends”, who are invisible but always on the verge of becoming flesh.
The long novel Wolf Hall, about Henry VIII’s minister Thomas Cromwell, was published in 2009 to critical acclaim. The book won that year’s Booker Prize and, upon winning the award, Mantel said, “I can tell you at this moment I am happily flying through the air”. Judges voted three to two in favour of Wolf Hall for the prize. Mantel was presented with a trophy and a £50,000 cash prize during an evening ceremony at the Guildhall, London. The panel of judges, led by the broadcaster James Naughtie, described Wolf Hall as an “extraordinary piece of storytelling”. Leading up to the award, the book was backed as the favourite by bookmakers and accounted for 45% of the sales of all the nominated books. It was the first favourite since 2002 to win the award. On receiving the prize, Hilary Mantel said that she would spend the prize money on “sex and drugs and rock’ n’ roll”.
The sequel to Wolf Hall, called Bring Up the Bodies, was published in May 2012 to wide acclaim. It won the 2012 Costa Book of the Year and the 2012 Booker Prize; Mantel thus became the first British writer and the first woman to win the Booker Prize more than once. Mantel was the fourth author to receive the award twice, following J. M. Coetzee, Peter Carey and J. G. Farrell. This award also made Mantel the first author to win the award for a sequel. The books were adapted into plays by the Royal Shakespeare Company and were produced as a mini-series by BBC. In 2020 Mantel published the third novel of the Thomas Cromwell trilogy, called The Mirror and the Light. The Mirror and the Light was selected for the longlist for the 2020 Booker Prize.
Hilary Mantel was also working on a short non-fiction book, titled The Woman Who Died of Robespierre, about the Polish playwright Stanisława Przybyszewska. Mantel also wrote reviews and essays, mainly for The Guardian, the London Review of Books and the New York Review of Books. The Culture Show programme on BBC Two broadcast a profile of Mantel on 17 September 2011. In December 2016, Mantel spoke with Kenyon Review editor David H. Lynn on the KR Podcast about the way historical novels are published, what it is like to live in the world of one character for more than ten years, writing for the stage, and the final book in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy, The Mirror and the Light.
She delivered the 2017 Reith Lectures on BBC Radio Four, talking about the theme of historical fiction. Her final one of these lectures was on the theme of adaptation of historical novels for stage or screen. Mantel’s lectures were selected by its producer, Jim Frank, as amongst the best of the long-running series.
Hilary Mantel had a debilitating and painful illness during her twenties. She was initially diagnosed with a psychiatric illness, hospitalized, and treated with antipsychotic drugs, which reportedly produced psychotic symptoms. In consequence, Mantel refrained from seeking help from doctors for some years. Finally, in Botswana and desperate, she consulted a medical textbook and realised she was probably suffering from a severe form of endometriosis, a diagnosis confirmed by doctors in London. The condition and (at the time) necessary surgery – surgical menopause at the age of 27 – left her unable to have children and continued to disrupt her life. She later said “you’ve thought your way through questions of fertility and menopause and what it means to be without children because it all happened catastrophically”. This led Mantel to see the problematised woman’s body as a theme in her writing. She later became patron of the Endometriosis SHE Trust.
Hilary Mantel Cause of death
On 22 September 2022, Hilary Mantel died at a hospital in Exeter from complications of a stroke she had three days earlier, on 19 September; she was 70. Reacting to her death, author Bernardine Evaristo called Mantel a “massive talent” and Nilanjana Roy called Mantel “tenacious, gifted, visionary”.
Hilary Mantel identified as a socialist during her university days. In a 2013 speech on media and royal women at the British Museum, Mantel commented on Catherine Middleton, then the Duchess of Cambridge, saying that the Middleton was forced to present herself publicly as a personality-free “shop window mannequin” whose sole purpose is to deliver an heir to the throne.
Mantel expanded on these views in an essay for the London Review of Books (LRB): “It may be that the whole phenomenon of monarchy is irrational, but that doesn’t mean that when we look at it we should behave like spectators at Bedlam. Cheerful curiosity can easily become cruelty”. These remarks caused much controversy. The Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband and Prime Minister David Cameron criticised them, while Jemima Khan defended Mantel. Zing Tsjeng praised the LRB essay, finding the “clarity of prose and analysis is just incredible”.
In September 2014, in an interview published in The Guardian, Mantel said she had fantasized about the murder of the British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in 1983, and fictionalized the event in a short story called “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: 6 August 1983”. Allies of Thatcher called for a police investigation, to which Mantel responded: “Bringing in the police for an investigation was beyond anything I could have planned or hoped for, because it immediately exposes them to ridicule.”
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Mantel discussed her religious views in her 2003 memoir, Giving Up the Ghost. Brought up as a Roman Catholic, she ceased to believe at age 12, but said the religion left a permanent mark on her: the real cliché, the sense of guilt. You grow up believing that you’re wrong and bad. And for me, because I took what I was told really seriously, it bred a very intense habit of introspection and self-examination and a terrible severity with myself. So that nothing was ever good enough. It’s like installing a policeman, and one moreover who keeps changing the law.
In an 2013 interview with the Telegraph, Mantel stated: “I think that nowadays the Catholic Church is not an institution for respectable people. When I was a child I wondered why priests and nuns were not nicer people. I thought that they were amongst the worst people I knew.” These statements, as well as the themes explored in her earlier novel Fludd, led the Catholic bishop Mark O’Toole to comment: “There is an anti-Catholic thread there, there is no doubt about it. Wolf Hall is not neutral.”
Hilary Mantel was married to Gerald McEwen, they had their wedding in 1973. Her husbad was a geologist. In 1974, she began writing a novel about the French Revolution but was unable to find a publisher (it was eventually released as A Place of Greater Safety in 1992). In 1977, Mantel moved to Botswana with her husband where they lived for the next five years. Later, they spent four years in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She published a memoir of this period in the London Review of Books. She later said that leaving Jeddah felt like “the happiest day of her life”. Hilary Mantel and her husband Gerald McEwen divorced in 1981 but remarried in 1982. McEwen gave up geology to manage his wife’s business. They lived in Budleigh Salterton, Devon.
Hilary Mantel net worth
What was Hilary Mantel’s net worth? Hilary Mantel net worth was estimated at around $5 million. Her main source of income was from her career as a Novelist, short story writer, essayist and critic. Hilary Mantel’s salary per month with other career earnings was over $1 million dollars annually. She was one of the richest and influential authors in the United Kingdom. Her remarkable achievements earned her some luxurious lifestyles and some fancy car trips. Hilary Mantel stood at an appealing height of 1.68m and had a good body weight which suited her personality.