Published to coincide with a dramatization on Radio 4's Woman's Hour.
Hilary Mantel was born in Derbyshire. She was educated at a convent and later studied law. After ten years abroad in Africa and the Middle East, she returned to Britain in 1985 to make a career as a writer. She is working on her ninth novel.
ON HILARY MANTEL: 'She writes like an angel ... and it is this angelic prose which turns the reader dizzy with pleasure.' David Robson, Sunday Telegraph 'Mantel can out-write most writers of her generation, male and female.' Maggie Gee, Sunday Times 'Hilary Mantel is a wonderfully unsurprised dissector of human motivation.' Helen Dunmore, Observer 'Mantel writes prose of imperturbable aplomb, crisp with irony and highlighted with deftly placed, elegantly surprising images ... she has a penchant for caustic, spiky heroines and a sardonic ear for dialogue.' Peter Kemp, Sunday Times 'Hilary Mantel is a novelist of remarkable diversity. She writes about curiosity, companionship, art, love, death and eternity. She writes with wit, compassion and great elegance.' Sue Gaisford, Independent on Sunday