Pronounced by the judges to be “head and shoulders” above the other contenders and was “quite simply the best book”, Hilary Mantel’s book won her the Costa Book prize of £30,000. The novel, “Bring Up the Bodies” is about Thomas Cromwell and the down fall of Anne Boleyn and plays to the author’s strengths. She said she was “not going to apologise” for winning both the Booker and the Costa prizes as for years she was always a runner-up.
Dame Jenni Murray, one of the judges said it had been “very difficult” to judge because the shortlisted books spanned five very different categories – poetry, children’s, biography, first novel and novel. The judges did not let the fact Hilary Mantel had already won the Booker because her novel was simply the best. Dame Jenni went on the say
“[Mantel’s] prose is so poetic, it’s so beautiful, it’s so set in its time, so you know exactly where you are and who you are with.
“But it’s also incredibly modern, her analysis of the politics is so modern and everybody found there were things that just stuck in their minds that they would think about for a very long time.”
All five shortlisted writers detailed in a previous blog received £5,000 each.