Final novel of Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy set for March 2020

The Mirror & the Light completes trilogy begun with Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies

Hilary Mantel: This book has been the greatest challenge of my writing life, and the most rewarding

Hilary Mantel: This book has been the greatest challenge of my writing life, and the most rewarding

 

The final novel of Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy is to be published next March by 4th Estate.

With The Mirror & the Light, Hilary Mantel brings to a close the trilogy she began with Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. She traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man’s vision: of a modern nation making itself through conflict, passion and courage.

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. 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.”

Nicholas Pearson, publishing director at 4th Estate, said: “When I first read the opening pages of Wolf Hall, I was drawn into history in a way I hadn’t experienced before. Hilary Mantel allows us to inhabit the past as it happens – we watch Cromwell and those in his orbit as their lives unfold, making decisions the consequences of which they cannot know.

“Readers around the world have relished this experience in the years since, both with that novel and its successor, Bring Up the Bodies. The 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.”

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

Mantel is the two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize for her bestselling novels, Wolf Hall, and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, which also won the 2012 Costa Book of the Year. Playful Productions / Royal Shakespeare Company adapted Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies for the stage to colossal critical acclaim.

Wolf Hall has been translated into 36 languages, Bring Up the Bodies 31 languages and sales for both books have reached over 5 million worldwide.

Following on from the success of the Bafta and Golden Globe winning television adaptation of Wolf Hall, Playground Entertainment is in active development with the BBC on the adaptation of The Mirror & the Light to be written by Peter Straughan and directed by Peter Kosminsky.

Oxford Films has been commissioned by the BBC to make a film exploring the life and work of Mantel, to coincide with the publication of The Mirror & the Light. What connects the Wolf Hall trilogy with Robespierre, the friendship of teenage girls, Jeddah and the life of a giant? The film will uncover the many worlds of Mantel.

Mantel is the author of fourteen books, including A Place of Greater Safety, Beyond Black, and the memoir Giving up the Ghost.

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