Hilary Mantel wins Book of the Year prize

Hilary Mantel has carried off the Costa Book of the Year Award for her work Bring Up the Bodies.

The historical novel about the life of Thomas Cromwell, chief minister in the Tudor court of Henry VIII, tells the story of the downfall of Anne Boleyn, his second wife.

Dame Jenni Murray, a broadcaster and the chair of the judges, said: “Hilary Mantel writes beautiful, poetic prose, set in its time but also incredibly modern. It’s a book I’ll go back to again and again.”

The second of two books in her planned trilogy about Cromwell, Bring up the Bodies, published by Fourth Estate, last year won Ms Mantel the Man Booker prize.

It made her the first British writer or woman to win the Booker twice, following her award in 2009 for Wolf Hall, the first in the Cromwell series. This also marked the first time two books from the same series had won two Booker prizes.

Ms Mantel, who will receive £30,000, competed with prize winners in poetry, biography, first novel and children’s books for the overall Book of the Year Award, announced on Tuesday night in central London.

This year the Costa included graphic novels for the first time. Mary and Bryan Talbot, authors of Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes, won in the biography category this month.

The inaugural Costa Short Story Award, judged separately from the main prize, was won by Avril Joy.

The judges for the overall book winner included actress Jenny Agutter, broadcaster Katie Derham, actress and writer Sophie Ward, author and comedian Mark Watson, poet Daljit Nagra and authors Wendy Holden, DJ Taylor and Marcus Sedgwick.

Recent winners of the Book of the Year include Andrew Miller for Pure, Jo Shapcott with Of Mutability, and Christopher Reid for A Scattering.

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