Final book of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy will finally be published in 2020



final-book-of-hilary-mantel’s-wolf-hall-trilogy-will-finally-be-published-in-2020


Hilary Mantel
Hilary Mantel

Credit:
BBC

The final novel in Hilary Mantel’s Cromwell trilogy is to be published in March 2020, it has been announced, as she admits the long-awaited book has been the “greatest challenge of my writing life”. 

Fans have been clamouring for the book, called The Mirror and the Light, since the second installation was published in 2012, with Mantel regularly facing questions from readers about why it was taking so long. 

Her publishers, 4th Estate, have today confirmed it will be out in the UK on March 5th next year, after a stealth marketing campaign which saw a heavy clue featuring the Wolf Hall Tudor rose emblem being placed on a billboard in Leicester Square. 

Bookies William Hill are already offering odds of 5/1 on Mantel winning a third Booker Prize, after the success of Wolf Hall in 2009 and Bring Up the Bodies in 2012. 

The trilogy tells the true story of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to prominence in the court of Henry VIII, and will conclude with his fall from grace and execution. 

Erm… grabbing lunch and saw this in Leicester Sq! That rose. That line. Oh my god is the new Hilary Mantel finally coming?!?! pic.twitter.com/5tytsBqQg7

— Waterstones Piccadilly (@WaterstonesPicc) May 21, 2019

Mantel said: “When I began work on my Thomas Cromwell books back in 2005, I had high hopes, but it took time to feel out the full scope of the material.

“I didn’t know at first I would write a trilogy, but gradually I realised the richness and fascination of this extraordinary life.

“Since then I have been on a long journey, with the good companionship of archivists, artists, booksellers, librarians, actors, producers, and – most importantly – millions of readers through the world.

“I hope they will stay with me as we walk the last miles of Cromwell’s life, ascending to unprecedented riches and honour and abruptly descending to the scaffold at Tower Hill.

Mark Rylance plays Thomas Cromwell in the BBC adaptation

“This book has been the greatest challenge of my writing life, and the most rewarding; I hope and trust my readers will find it has been worth the wait.”

Bill Hamilton, Mantel’s literary agent added: “It is hugely exciting to see Hilary’s masterwork, written over 14 years, brought to its triumphant conclusion. This is a great literary landmark.”

Publishers described The Mirror and the Light as the “triumphant close” to the Wolf Hall trilogy, which has so far been praised by critics for its distinctive style and remarkable attention to historic detail. 

In 2013, Mantel told an audience at the Oxford Literature Festival that her third book would open with Cromwell at the scaffold after the execution of Anne Boleyn, beginning with the words: “Once the Queen has been five minutes dead he walks away.”

The first two novels both won the Booker Prize

While Wolf Hall opened with a 15-year-old Cromwell lying on the ground in a pool of his own blood, willing himself to “get up” after being beaten by his father, Mirror and the Light will end in similar fashion with his death, she disclosed.

“His consciousness recedes and ebbs away,” Mantel said then. “And we will be back at the beginning.

“We will be back with a man on the ground in his own blood, saying to himself ‘get up, get up”.”

Nicholas Pearson, publishing director at 4th Estate, said today: “Readers around the world have relished this experience in the years since, both with that novel and its successor, Bring Up the BodiesThe Mirror & the Light is every bit as daring and thrilling as the novels which precede it.

“Completely immersive, as it charts the final years of Cromwell, it also casts a fresh light on the politics of power and the way we live now.”

Hilary Mantel wins the Booker Prize in 2012

Sales of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies have reached over 5 million so far, with the novels each translated into more than 30 languages. Wolf Hall has also been adapted into a Royal Shakespeare Company play and acclaimed BBC television series. 

A spokesman said the television production team is “standing by and eager to return” to recreate the third novel for the screen. 



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