Hilary Mantel becomes first woman to win Booker Prize twice

The 60-year-old author of Bring Up the Bodies said she was "absolutely astonished" to receive the award

Hilary Mantel has become the first woman and the first British author to win the Man Booker prize twice.

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Mantel was awarded with the prestigious literary accolade last night at London’s Guildhall for her novel Bring Up The Bodies. The author had previously won the award for her historical novel Wolf Hall in 2009.

Not only is Mantel the first woman to win the Booker Prize twice, she is also the first Briton and the first author to win a Booker for a sequel.

Bring Up The Bodies follows on from Wolf Hall and is a bloody historical masterpiece charting the nine months of events before the execution of Anne Boleyn.

The 60-year-old author, said she was “absolutely astonished” to have won her second Booker.

She added: “You wait 20 years for a Booker Prize and then two come along at once”.

Peter Stothard, this year’s chairman, had previously told Radio Times that a second Booker Prize would be “a fittingly extraordinary accolade” for Hilary Mantel.

Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies are two parts of a trilogy. The third installment will be titled The Mirror and the Light.

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The BBC has recently bought the rights to Mantel’s fiction – and a six-hour adaptation of the first two books, by Peter Straughan, is planned for late 2013.