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Hilary Mantel’s conclusion to Wolf Hall trilogy set to be released in 2020

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Sarah Shaffi
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Hilary Mantel's final Wolf Hall novel, The Mirror & the Light, will be released in 2020.

The trilogy will come to an end in 2020.

So now get up, because the conclusion to Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy is on its way.

The Mirror and the Light, the final novel in the series, has been highly anticipated, with fans waiting for years.

The first book, Wolf Hall, was published in 2009. The sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, came out in 2012.

Speculation was fuelled this week that the third book would be released soon when a billboard went up in Leicester Square this week with the rose graphic from the books surrounded by the opening line of Wolf Hall.

Now, publisher 4th Estate has announced that The Mirror & the Light will be released in 2020.

The trilogy, the first book of which was adapted for television and starred Damian Lewis, Mark Rylance and Claire Foy, is the story of the rise to power of Thomas Cromwell in Henry VIII’s court.

The Mirror & the Light will trace the final years of Cromwell.

Mantel said: “When I began work on my Thomas Cromwell books back in 2005, I had high hopes, but it took time to feel out the full scope of the material. I didn’t know at first I would write a trilogy, but gradually I realised the richness and fascination of this extraordinary life. 

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“Since then I have been on a long journey, with the good companionship of archivists, artists, booksellers, librarians, actors, producers, and — most importantly — millions of readers through the world.

“I hope they will stay with me as we walk the last miles of Cromwell’s life, ascending to unprecedented riches and honour and abruptly descending to the scaffold at Tower Hill. This book has been the greatest challenge of my writing life, and the most rewarding; I hope and trust my readers will find it has been worth the wait.”

Nicholas Pearson, publishing director at 4th Estate, said: “The Mirror & the Light is every bit as daring and thrilling as the novels which precede it. Completely immersive, as it charts the final years of Cromwell, it also casts a fresh light on the politics of power and the way we live now.”

Wolf Hall catapulted Mantel to fame, although she had written a number of novels and short stories before then. Both Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies won Mantel the Booker Prize (in 2009 and 2012 respectively), making her the first woman and the first British writer to win the prize twice.

The Mirror & the Light is sure to be one of the biggest publishing events of 2020, and we can’t wait.

The Mirror & the Light will be released on 5 March 2020.

Image: Els Zweerink

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Sarah Shaffi

Sarah Shaffi is a freelance journalist and editor. She reads more books a week than is healthy, and balances this out with copious amounts of TV. She writes regularly about popular culture, particularly how it reflects and represents society.

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