Hilary Mantel CBE

Honorary graduates 2011-12

Hilary Mantel CBE (DLitt)

Sunday 17 July 2011 11:30am

Hilary Mantel grew up in the Peak District in Derbyshire and was educated at a Cheshire convent school, the LSE and Sheffield University, graduating in Law in 1973. She subsequently became a teacher and a social worker, living for nine years in Africa and the Middle East.

She started writing full-time in the mid 1980s, and is the author of ten novels, a short story collection and a memoir, Giving Up The Ghost. She writes both historical and contemporary fiction, and her settings range from a South African township under apartheid to Paris in the Revolution and from a city in 20th century Saudi Arabia to rural Ireland in the 18th century.

A former film critic at the Spectator, she reviews widely for papers in the UK and the US. Her novel Wolf Hall is about Thomas Cromwell, chief minister to Henry VIII. It won the 2009 Man Booker prize, the inaugural Walter Scott prize, and in the US won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

She is married to Gerald McEwen, a former geologist, and moved to East Devon in the spring of 2011. She is currently working on The Mirror & The Light, a sequel to Wolf Hall.