Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies has won the Booker Prize, which seems right because it is the most accomplished book on the list – challenging but fundamentally readable thanks to the execution and, it must be said, the drama of the history of that period, which Mantel handles with the insight of a historian, though thankfully not a historian’s total fidelity. If you don’t believe me, read the Spectator review written by Nicola Shulman, biography of the Henrician poet Thomas Wyatt.
Mantel has joined Australian Peter Carey and South African J.M. Coetzee to hold a brace of Bookers. Speculation is already mounting about the 3rd instalment of her trilogy. It would be a wonderful and probably unsurpassable achievement if she were to secure the hat-trick.
PS: If you haven’t heard already, Hilary Mantel’s career took off after she won the Spectator’s Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize, which has been reinstated this year. If you fancy following her example, you can find more details here.
More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us.