Hilary Mantel

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Hilary Mary Mantel CBE (born 6 July 1952), née Thompson, is an English novelist, short story writer and critic. Her work, ranging in subject from personal memoir to historical fiction, has been short-listed for major literary awards. In 2009, she won the Man Booker Prize for her novel Wolf Hall.

Early life

She was born in Glossop, Derbyshire, the eldest of three children, and was brought up in the Derbyshire mill village of Hadfield, attending the local Roman Catholic primary school. Her parents, Margaret and Henry Thompson, were both born in England, of Irish descent. Her parents separated and she did not see her father after age eleven. Jack Mantel moved in and became her unofficial stepfather, The Telegraph, 1 March 2010, accessed 2 January 2011 and she took his surname. Her family background, the mainspring of much of her fiction, is explained in her memoir, Giving Up the Ghost. She lost her religious faith at age 12 and says that this left a permanent mark on her: the "real cliche, the sense of guilt. You grow up believing that you're wrong and bad. And for me, because I took what I was told really seriously, it bred a very intense habit of introspection and self-examination and a terrible severity with...
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