Hilary Mantel, Prize-Winning Author of Historical Fiction, Dies at 70 Adapted from the New York Times article by Alex Marshall and Alexandra Alter Published Sept. 23, 2022 Updated Sept. 24, 2022
Hilary Mantel, one of Britain’s most decorated novelists, whose trilogy of books on the life of Thomas Cromwell — “Wolf Hall,” “Bring Up the Bodies” and “The Mirror and the Light” — received both critical acclaim and commercial success, landing on bestseller lists around the world, died on Thursday at a hospital in Exeter, England. She was 70. Her death, after she had suffered a stroke on Monday and endured chronic pain for much of her life, was confirmed by Bill Hamilton, her longtime literary agent. “She had so many great novels ahead of her,” he said, adding, “It’s just an enormous loss to literature.” Ms. Mantel, the author of 17 books, twice won Britain’s Booker Prize, for “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies,” both of which sold millions of copies. She was long listed for the same prize, for “The Mirror and the Light,” in 2020. The novels led to popular stage and screen adaptations. Her Cromwell books were the turning point. Enraptured critics said she had presented the historical novel as high literature, portraying her subjects not as cardboard characters from centuries past but as real people of contradictions and psychological complexity, relatable in any age. And readers were carried along by her storytelling power. The trilogy was translated into 41 languages and sold more than five million copies worldwide. It also helped rehabilitate Cromwell’s image by presenting him as a brilliant and revolutionary strategist. ‘Wolf Hall’ (2009). This fictional portrait of Henry VIII’s scheming aide Thomas Cromwell — the first volume of Mantel’s celebrated trilogy — England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor. Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with a delicate and deadly expertise in manipulating people and events. Ruthless in pursuit of his own interests, he is as ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages. ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ (2012). The second installment in the trilogy, this book finds Cromwell coping with Henry VIII’s tumultuous marriage to Anne Boleyn as Jane Seymour rises in the king’s estimation. By 1535 Thomas Cromwell is Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes having risen with those of Anne Boleyn, the king’s new wife. But Anne has failed to give the king an heir, and Cromwell watches as Henry falls for plain Jane Seymour. Cromwell must find a solution that will satisfy Henry, safeguard the nation, and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge unscathed from the bloody theater of Anne’s final days. ‘The Mirror and the Light’ (2020). The “triumphant capstone” to the series, England, May 1536. Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner. As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Thomas Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith’s son from Putney emerges from the spring’s bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, Jane Seymour. Cromwell is a man with only his wits to rely on; he has no great family to back him, no private army. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. But can a nation, or a person, shed the past like a skin? Do the dead continually unbury themselves? What will you do, the Spanish ambassador asks Cromwell, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him?
R.I.P. “She embodies both the magician and the spell, and part of the particular wonder of reading her is the knowledge that no one else has ever written like that before, nor will again.” Kamila Shamsie, author
Little People, Big Dreams: Stephen Hawking byMaria Isabel Sanchez Vegara Illustrations by Matt Hunt In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy bestselling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Stephen Hawking, the genius physicist and author. When Stephen Hawking was a little boy, he used to stare up at the stars and wonder about the universe. Although he was never top of the class, his curiosity took him to the best universities in England: Oxford and Cambridge. It also led him to make one of the biggest scientific discoveries of the 20th century: Hawking radiation. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back , including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the brilliant physicist's life. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a bestselling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people , from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats . The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardback versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children.
Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
An Academy for magic and special talents. A destiny unfulfilled. A secret legacy. The first instalment of the international best-selling fantasy series from Jenny Nimmo starring Charlie Bone. Since his father died, Charlie Bone has lived with his mother and her mother, in the house of his other grandmother, Grandma Bone. Looking at a picture of a couple with a baby and a cat, he suddenly discovers he can hear their voices. Although he tries to hide his new gift, Grandma Bone and her scary sisters soon find out, and send him to Bloor's Academy. Charlie quickly finds life at Bloor's pretty tough, with its strict rules and the malevolent head boy, Manfred, set against him. When Charlie discovers that the child in the photograph is being held, hypnotised, against her will, he and his new friends with 'gifts' try to awaken her. But can they overcome Manfred's sinister hypnotic gifts?
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Wild Your Garden by The Butterfly Brothers
Introducing Wild Your Garden, a practical guide to rewilding your outdoor space, with advice, inspiration and step-by-step projects brought to you by Gardeners' World and Springwatch guests The Butterfly Brothers.
We all have the potential to make the world a little greener, and Wild Your Garden shows you how to create a garden that can help boost local biodiversity. You don't need specialist knowledge or acres of land. If you have any outdoor space, you can make a difference to local wildlife, and reduce your carbon footprint, too! So what are you waiting for?
Grow Food for Free by Huw Richards
Author Huw Richards is a man on a mission. He is passionate about teaching you how to garden and grow your own food. Years of experience and trying different things has taught Huw how to garden with little money (or without a garden) and he shows you how to do the same! Grow Food for Free teaches you how to produce no-cost, low-maintenance fruit and veg - and finding low-cost ways to overcome common gardening worries.
Learn about the space you need and how to prepare it, make your own compost, tackle weeds, pests, and diseases, and how to get hold of your first set of seeds! Discover strategies to expand your garden. Can't afford a raised bed? Try repurposing an old wooden pallet. Don't have money to buy lots of different seeds? Look in your kitchen cupboards for food that you can plant. This home gardening book shows you everything you need to barter, borrow, repurpose, and propagate your way to a bountiful harvest without burdening your bank balance!
Gardening Step by Step from the Royal Horticultural Society
Simple steps to growing, planting and reaping rewards from your garden, from the experts at the RHS. Transform your garden with inspiring projects taken from the bestselling "RHS Simple Steps to Success" series. Follow practical tips, checklists, charts and step-by-steps which are easy to do and simple to follow to keep your garden gorgeous all year round. Discover how to plant a small garden, from using colour to container ideas. Learn to grow vegetables in your small garden with tips on choosing a site and delicious planting recipes. There is advice on creating an easy-care garden from formal designs to planting ideas. Plus, get the low-down on easy pruning and find out how to encourage flowering and keep your clematis properly cut back. Get results, whether you're a green-fingered guru or a gardening novice.
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A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
"Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked..." To his customers and neighbors on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably priced furniture, making a decent life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents on Striver's Row don't approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it's still home.
Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger all the time.
Cash is tight, especially with all those installment-plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace, Ray doesn't ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweler downtown who doesn't ask questions, either.
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