Hilary Mantel grew up in the Peak District in Derbyshire and was educated at a Cheshire convent school, the LSE and Sheffield University, graduating in law in 1973. She was subsequently a teacher and a social worker, living for 9 years in Africa and the Middle East. She became a full-time writer in the mid 1980s, and is the author of eleven novels, two short story collections and a memoir, Giving Up The Ghost. She writes both historical and contemporary fiction and her settings range from a South African township under apartheid to Paris in the Revolution, from a city in twentieth century Saudi Arabia to rural Ireland in the eighteenth century. Her novel Wolf Hall is about Thomas Cromwell, chief minister to Henry VIII. It won the 2009 Man Booker prize, the inaugural Walter Scott prize, and in the US won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her second Cromwell novel, Bring Up The Bodies, won the 2012 Man Booker Prize and the Costa ‘Book of the Year’ Award. Both novels were adapted for television, and she worked with the adapter Mike Poulton on a stage version which was performed in Stratford-upon-Avon, the West End and Broadway. She is a Governor of The Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2014, she published a book of short stories The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher. She is currently working on the final novel of the Thomas Cromwell trilogy The Mirror & The Light. Hilary Mantel was appointed DBE in 2014. She lives with her husband in East Devon.