An Evening with Hilary Mantel

Manchester Literature Festival is delighted to present An Evening with Hilary Mantel as she talks about the final novel in her Tudor trilogy, The Mirror and the Light

RNCM, Manchester

Sunday 19th April, 2020 @ 7:00 pm

  • In Conversation


About the Event

One of our most remarkable writers, Hilary has written a feast of novels, memoirs and short stories including A Place of Greater SafetyBeyond BlackFludd and Assassination of Margaret Thatcher. It is with the epic and extraordinary Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodieshowever, that she became the first British author to win two Booker Prizes and the only writer to have won with two consecutive novels. For this special event hosted by author Kamila Shamsie, Hilary will join us to launch The Mirror & The Light, the final book in her thrilling and internationally acclaimed Tudor trilogy. 

‘If you cannot speak truth at a beheading, when can you speak it?’

England, May 1536. Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner. As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Thomas Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith’s son from Putney emerges from the spring’s bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, whilst his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, Jane Seymour. 

Cromwell is a man with only his wits to rely on; he has no great family to back him, no private army. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. But can a nation, or a person, shed the past like a skin? Do the dead continually unbury themselves? What will you do, the Spanish ambassador asks Cromwell, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him?

With The Mirror & The Light, Hilary traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man’s vision: of a modern nation making itself through conflict, passion and courage. 

Presented in partnership with the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing and Creative Manchester, with support from our bookshop partner Waterstones Deansgate, and The Edwardian Manchester – A Radisson Collection hotel.

Venue Information

124 Oxford Road
Belvedere Road
M13 9RD
United Kingdom
Phone: 0843 208 0500

About the Book

The Mirror and the Light
The Mirror and the Light

Hilary Mantel

Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date:5 Mar 2020


4.47 out of 5
22 reviews
"The Mirror & The Light lays down a marker for historical fiction that will set the standard for generations to come."
"Quite possibly the literary event of 2020"
The Bookseller
"...it might well be the best of the trilogy simply because there is more of it, a treasure on every page."
The Times
"has all the dark witty glitter of the earlier volumes in the trilogy"
London Review of Books
"...after “Bring Up the Bodies,” the enterprise, like Henry, has put on weight and self-importance"
The New York Times
"more a phenomenon of amassed information and tireless enthusiasm than triumphant creativity"
The Sunday Times
"The imagery is by turns fantastically airborne and materially concrete"
Financial Times
"Someone give the Booker Prize judges the rest of the year off"
The Observer
"The novelist’s duty is to the construction of a world that does not leak, and the world of Wolf Hall is as sealed as an egg"
The Daily Telegraph
"superb, right to the last crimson drop"
The Independent

Preorder the long-awaited sequel to Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, the stunning conclusion to Hilary Mantel's Man Booker Prize-winning Wolf Hall trilogy.