Last night, Hilary Mantel made history when she became the first woman and also the first living British author to win the Man Booker Prize twice, BBC News reports. Not only that, but Mantel’s novel Bring Up The Bodies is also the first direct sequel to win for the second time.
Mantel was made a CBE in 2006, though she was then only just starting to break into the public realm. In 2009, Hilary Mantel won the prize for Wolf Hall, which chronicled Thomas Cromwell’s rise from being a blacksmith’s son, to having a prime position in Henry VIII’s court. Bring Up The Bodies is a continuation of Cromwell’s story, which will be completed in the final instalment of the Wolf Hall trilogy, The Mirror and the Light. The series is currently being adapted for a six part series for BBC Two, which is expected to be broadcast late next year.
Though her success hardly comes as a surprise, many had Will Self pegged as last night’s champion, for his novel Umbrella. The 2012 Man Booker Prize was one for the record books though, as Mantel walked away with the prize and with the knowledge that she has made literary history on three scores. Speaking about last night’s triumph, Hilary Mantel described the win as “an act of faith and a vote of confidence” by the judging panel and joked “You wait 20 years for a Booker Prize and two come along at once."