The worlds of publishing and screen have paid tribute to author Hilary Mantel, who died on Thursday (Sept. 22) at the age of 70.
Peter Kosminsky, who directed the BBC adaptation of Mantel’s novel “Wolf Hall,” told Variety: “A great light has gone out. The word ‘great’ is used very easily these days but nobody could dispute that it’s an appropriate epithet for Dame Hilary Mantel. If you look at the scale of her achievements, the impact she’s had, the breadth of her knowledge and reading… She’s someone whom people went to for thoughts and opinions on a variety of different novels ad nonfiction works. People recognized her for the massive intellect as she was. It’s hard to imagine a world without her.”
Colin Callender, producer of “Wolf Hall” added: “Hilary was a brilliant iconoclast and captivating storyteller. With ‘Wolf Hall’ she reinvented the traditional historical novel. She made history personal and with her use of the present tense in the ‘Wolf Hall’ trilogy the reader is no longer just a witness looking back at events – the reader becomes engaged as a player in the drama as it unfolds. You are in the room with the characters – not bringing the perspective of historical hindsight but with the immediacy of being in the moment. We honoured that in bringing her work to the screen. It was a great privilege to work with her.”
BBC Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore also paid tribute, telling Variety: “The remarkable talent of Dame Hilary Mantel, and the incredible impact she had on literature and the arts, will never be forgotten. Whether for television with ‘Wolf Hall,’ or on radio with her novels and The Reith Lectures, it was always a privilege to work with her. Our thoughts are with her loved ones at this incredibly sad time.”
The publishing world has also paid their respects to the author, who wrote twelve novels in her career in addition to a memoir and numerous articles and short stories. Jonny Geller, CEO of the Curtis Brown Group wrote: “A deep and profound loss to readers and the publishing community. Few authors had such range and control of her subjects. She will be read and appreciated for many years to come.”
J.K. Rowling tweeted simply, “We’ve lost a genius” while “Chocolat” author Joanne Harris wrote “Such sad news, and such a loss to the literary world.”