Booker winner Mantel vows to end trilogy in style

Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:47am EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Hilary Mantel, who on Tuesday night became the first woman and first Briton to win the coveted Man Booker prize for fiction twice, vowed on Wednesday to bring her epic trilogy set in the court of King Henry VIII to a satisfactory close.

Her comments could have the bookmakers offering odds on the 60-year-old making it an unprecedented three Booker wins when the final installment, provisionally titled "The Mirror and the Light" hits the shelves, probably in 2015.

For now, the focus is on "Bring Up the Bodies", the second volume of her sweeping historical fiction charting the meteoric rise and equally dramatic fall from grace of blacksmith's son-turned-king's chief minister Thomas Cromwell.

The novel, published by HarperCollins imprint Fourth Estate, won what is one of the most important accolades for fiction in the English language, and followed the Booker success of the acclaimed "Wolf Hall" in 2009.

Asked how The Mirror and the Light might differ from her two previous Tudor histories, Mantel told BBC's Today program:

"It's going to be a complex book, I guess in texture more like Wolf Hall than like Bring Up the Bodies.

"I have four years to cover here and what I want to do is hold up a mirror to everything that has gone before and also shed new light on it.

"What I'm trying to do is make three books that stand up independently and yet the third volume will have to contain them all ... It will be complicated, but I'm not intimidated. I think I can bring it home in style."   Continued...

Author Hilary Mantel poses with her book "Bring up the Bodies", after winning the 2012 Man Booker Prize, at the Guildhall in London October 16, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor