Yesterday, we got excited by this billboard in London’s Leicester Square, which seemed to hint that, at long last, Hilary Mantel’s beloved Thomas Cromwell trilogy, which began with Wolf Hall, might be coming to a conclusion.
This morning, HarperCollins confirmed our suspicions: the final novel in the trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, will be published on March 5th, 2020 (in the US by Henry Holt).
“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,” Mantel said in a press release.
I didn’t know at first I would write a trilogy, but gradually I realized the richness and fascination of this extraordinary life. 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 honor 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.
“With The Mirror & the Light, Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies,” HarperCollins said in the same release. “She 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.”
All I have to say is, whoever was expecting to win the Booker Prize next year, you might want to think again—both Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, took home the prize in their year of publication, and as we all know, history tends to repeat itself. . .