Hilary Mantel has won the Booker 2012 with Bring Up The Bodies after weeks of fraught speculation and a neck and neck competition towards the prize between her and Will Self. Mantel instantly becomes a double-record breaker: she is the first woman to win the Man Booker Prize and she is also the only Brit to win it twice.
"Well I don't know: you wait 20 years for a Booker prize and two come along at once!" said Mantel on receiving her award.
She won her first Booker Prize in 2009 with 'Wolf Hall' the predecessor to 'Bring Up the Bodies', both of which are a part of a prospective trilogy about Oliver Cromwell. In winning she's proved herself wrong, having been quoted by the Star, saying that although she considered it unlikely, but that “it would not be human to not want to win.” Before the Prize was awarded, judge chairman Peter Stothard discussed choosing the shortlist: “We read and we reread. It was the power and depth of prose that settled most of the judges' debates and we found the six books most likely to last and to repay future rereading. These are very different books but they all show a huge and visible confidence in the novel's place in the renewing of our words and our ideas.”
Mantel has certainly fulfilled that criteria, with a particularly resonant topic. The Tudor era and Oliver Cromwell has been of fascination to the British public for years. Now it is up to Mantel to complete the trilogy. In winning the Man Booker Prize, Mantel has not only written about history, but made it.