Yesterday, Hilary Mantel made history two-fold: she became the first woman ever since its original conception, and first Brit ever, to win the Man Booker prize twice with her book 'Bring Up the Bodies', beating Will Self to the coveted prize. Her novel is the second in an as-yet-unfinished trilogy about Oliver Cromwell and the Tudors in the 17h century. But with such incredible accolades under her belt, what's next for the history writer, that is forging her own space in literature?
First and foremost, she should probably finish that trilogy. Speaking to the Telegraph, she described the prospect of writing the third book as “going into the hardest thing [she] will ever have to do” and admitting that she feels somewhat indebt to her readers, because firstly they have such “high expectations” and secondly “a lot of people are emotionally involved, they're caught up in this saga”. Judging by the success of the first two novels, the third is unlikely to disappoint!
The BBC have also announced that they will be adapting the first two books 'Wolf Hall' and 'Bring Up the Bodies' into a six part mini-series, and is currently the project of Peter Straughan, who is responsible for the 2011 film 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' another book adaptation, reports the Wall Street Journal. It will be broadcast next year. Plus, the RSC are considering an adaptation of the existing books for the stage.
Clearly, Mantel's novels about Oliver Cromwell and his relationship with Henry VIII have truly struck a chord with the reading public, as well as British media markets, but what is it that Mantel considers the shining light that draws readers in? Speaking to The Wall Street Journal before the prize was announced she said: “[Cromwell's] a man struggling alongside other men to serve a capricious, neurotic, whimsical monarch, who made the best of circumstances both for himself and for his country.” So, Where does mantel go from here? It seems the resounding answer is 'up'.