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The Vision Australia Library is deeply saddened on the death of the novelist Dame Hilary Mantel.

Mantel was as an award-winning British writer who has left an incredible legacy of historical fiction, personal memoirs and short stories. She wrote 12 novels, and was most famous for her Wolf Hall trilogy a fictional account of Thomas Cromwell's rise to power in the court of Henry VIII.

The Vision Australia library has all 15 of her books. If you are a stranger to her work you are in for a treat.

Not a member of the Vision Australia Library? Membership is free and available to anyone with a print disability. Find out more at the Vision Australia Library webpage or call 1300 654 656.

Wolf Hall Trilogy

#1 Wolf Hall. England, England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, a political genius, with a deadly expertise in manipulating people and events. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.

The novel won both the 2009 Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. It is considered one of the best historical novels ever written.

#2 Bring Up the Bodies. Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne's head?

#3 The Mirror and the Light.  England, May 1536. Anne Boleyn is dead. Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen. Despite rebellion and traitors 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?

Further historical fiction

A Place of Greater Safety recounts the events between the fall of the Ancient Regime and the peak of the Terror, in the French Revolution.9

The Giant, O’Brien:  An account of Irish giant Charles Byren and his escape from the poverty of 1780s Ireland to seek his fortune in  London.

Dark comedy

Every Day Is Mother’s Day. Mantel’s 1985 debut novel sees Evelyn and her daughter Muriel barricaded inside their house filled with festering rubbish. Muriel’s social worker case files get lost due to a farcical combination of bureaucratic failure and the extramarital high- jinks of those tasked with looking after them, with fatal results.6

Vacant Possession. Ten years have passed since Muriel Axon did her Ma in, ten years of living in a mental asylum. But Muriel has not forgotten nor forgiven her welfare worker, Isabel, or her neighbor, Colin. There are scores to be settled-and vengeance to be wreaked.

Gothic Delight

Fludd: One dark and stormy night, a stranger named Fludd mysteriously turns up in the dismal village of Fetherhoughton and miracles begin to bloom. Fludd transforms his dull office into a golden regency of decision, unashamed sensation, and unprecedented action.

Beyond Black: Alison is a medium. she mostly tells her clients what they want to hear. Colette, her manager and side-kick, makes the bookings and gets Alison on stage. And then there's Morris, Alison's foul-mouthed and obscene Spirit Guide.


A Change of Climate: Set in both the windswept countryside of Norfolk and the violent townships of South Africa, this is a story of what happens when trust is broken, secrets become buried and lives torn apart.

An Experiment In Love: A coming of age story of three young women attending university in 1960s London.

Eight Months On Ghazzah Street: Explores cultural misunderstandings.


Giving Up The Ghost: Mantel uncovers the losses that wrenched her from the patterns of the past and drove her to forge her own remarkable path.3

Essays and stories

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: 10 bracingly subversive tales.7

Learning To Talk:  A sharp and funny collection of semi-autobiographical stories.