Hilary Mantel, the author of Wolf Hall and a string of other hugely successful historical fiction books, has died aged 70, her publisher has said.
4th Estate Books tweeted in the past few minutes saying that the two-time Booker Prize-winning author had died.
“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,” said the statement. “This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work.”
Born in 1952, Mantel went on wrote several successful fiction works before her Thomas Cromwell series landed her worldwide fame.
The historical books tell the story of how Cromwell seized power of England in the early 16th century, before losing power and being executed. They have been roundly praised for their world-building, gripping narratives and sharp wit.
The first two, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, were turned into a successful BBC Two drama starring Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis and Claire Foy, and the third, The Mirror & The Light, has also been critically acclaimed. The first two won Booker prizes and the third was longlisted.
Mantel was awarded a Damehood in 2014 and is the only woman to have won the Booker Prize twice.
She is survived by her husband Gerald McEwen.