This week, Bring up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel was announced as the winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize for 2012. The novel is sequel to Mantel’s brilliant historical work Wolf Hall, which won the same prestigious prize in 2009.
The Man Booker Prize website announced Mantel’s win earlier this week: ‘The whittling has finished. The judges of this year’s Man Booker Prize started with a daunting 145 novels and have winnowed, sifted, culled, and in some cases hurled, until there was only one left: Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies.’
With the win, Mantel joins Peter Carey and J.M Coetzee as the only authors in Man Booker history to win the prize more than once. She is also the first writer ever to win the Prize for a sequel and the first to win within such a short time between books.
Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies will eventually be joined by a third book, forming a trilogy. Depicting the life and times of historical figure Thomas Cromwell, the books have been praised as ‘one of the great achievements of modern literature’ and for ‘resuscitating historical fiction’ (www.themanbookerprize.com).
As for whether or not Mantel will take the Prize a third time with the final installment of the trilogy, only time will tell…
Well, this is exciting news! Fans of Hilary Mantel’s novels Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies are everywhere performing back flips of glee right about now, as the good news breaks: the BBC will be producing a 6 part drama adaptation of the novels.
Mantel’s novels tell the story of Henry VIII’s secretary Thomas Cromwell and his rise to power. The King’s marriage to Anne Boleyn and her fall from grace are seen through the eyes of the fictionalised secretary, lending a fresh perspective to a fascinating period of England’s history. Wildly successful, the books were both nominated for the Man Booker Prize, which Wolf Hall won in 2009; Bring Up the Bodies is currently part of the prize’s 2012 longlist.
The novels will be adapted into screenplays by Peter Straughan, who wrote the recent Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy movie.
The mini-series is set to air in late 2013 and the cast has yet to be announced. Kenneth Williams, Donald Pleasence, Iain Mitchell and James Frain have all played Cromwell. Who do you think would suit the role?
James Frain played Thomas Cromwell in Showtime’s The Tudors. (And what do you know? The only pic we could find of him also happens to feature the hideously ugly Henry Cavill. What are the odds, huh?)