Tributes pour in for author Hilary Mantel who died a ‘sudden yet peaceful’ death earlier today

British author Hilary Mantel has died at the age of 70. The best-selling author of the ‘Wolf Hall‘ trilogy died “suddenly yet peacefully” as she was surrounded by close family and friends, publishing house HarperCollins announced on Friday.

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In a tweet, it wrote: “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. This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work.”

The author became the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2006, and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2014 for her services to the world of literature. Since then, she has been called ‘Dame’ Hilary Mantel.

Mantel won the Booker Prize twice — once in 2009 for ‘Wolf Hall‘, which was the first in the ‘Thomas Cromwell series’, and then in her 2012 follow-up ‘Bring Up the Bodies‘. She concluded her trilogy in 2020 with ‘The Mirror and the Light‘, which was longlisted for The Booker Prize that year.

The acclaimed trilogy, a BBC report states, is a fictional account of the rise of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII. He was the former secretary of state of the Kingdom of England who was put to death for “treason and heresy”.

According to a Guardian report, the author suffered from a severe form of endometriosis, for which she underwent surgery and was “unable to have children”. She was quoted as telling Times in 2012: “Sometimes, people try to persuade me that it’s made me a better writer in some way, or that it has meant that I could keep the world at bay. But I’d rather cope with the world than cope with pain, and the uncertainty that goes with it.”

Mantel was born in Derbyshire in July 1952, and studied law at the London School of Economics and Sheffield University. She married geologist Gerald McEwan in 1972, but the couple divorced in 1981; they remarried in 1982, according to the Guardian report.

In her life, Mantel published 17 acclaimed books, including ‘The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher‘, ‘Every Day is Mother’s Day‘, to name a few.

Following the news of her death, many tributes were shared on Twitter. Harry Potter author JK Rowling wrote, “We’ve lost a genius.”

Check out these other tweets that honored her life and oeuvre.

“So very sorry to hear about Hilary Mantel’s passing. We were so lucky to have such a massive talent in our midst. I met her a few times and she was always so warm, down-to-earth and welcoming. RIP,” fellow Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo wrote on Twitter.

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