'I won't apologise for winning another prize': Hilary Mantel claims Costa Book of the Year

Despite pleas to give other authors a chance, judges vote unanimously for 'Bring up the Bodies'

Hilary Mantel continues to set records after her book Bring Up the Bodies became the first work to win the Costa Book of the Year as well as the Man Booker Prize.

The English author, who in October was the first woman to win the Booker for a second time, was handed the award and £30,000 prize money at a ceremony in central London.

There had been pleas not to award the prize to Mantel, who has already had huge recognition for Bring Up the Bodies and its predecessor Wolf Hall, and instead give the recognition to a less celebrated author.

But Mantel was defiant as she picked up the award, responding to press reports that suggested she and her protagonist were steamrollering other talent. “I'm not going to apologise,” she said from the podium. “Thank you to the judges for not letting anyone else tell them how to do to their jobs.

“I was writing for many years and either I was not among the prizes or I was a perpetual runner-up. Things have changed in a big way. I feel my luck has changed but it's not true. What's changed is what I'm working on.”

The two books are being adapted for the stage and the television as well as foreign translations. “Sometimes it feels like it's getting away from me, yet I'm still contained from within it as I have the third book to write,” said Mantel.

While last year the judges had fought bitterly between two titles, there was no “blood on the carpet” this year, according to Dame Jenni Murray, who chaired the judges. She said: “One book simply stood more than head and shoulders … on stilts, above the rest.”

Bring Up the Bodies is the second instalment of a planned trilogy about Thomas Cromwell and finds the chief minister to Henry VIII in 1535 after the king has broken with Rome to marry Anne Boleyn. The third book is due out next year and is called The Mirror And The Light. Mantel is yet to tire of her protagonist. She said: “He's very much a work in progress, he's got four more years to rise to the top of the tree then we'll see his very sudden fall.

“I should have known that Thomas Cromwell was bigger than I was. It's as if he's been revivified with a driving will to conquer.”

For the first time in the prize's history, women won in all five categories. This year's awards were also notable as the non-fiction prize was awarded to a graphic novel. Mary Talbot's work Dotter of Her Father's Eyes, which was illustrated by her husband Bryan, examines two father and daughter relationships: James Joyce and his daughter Lucia, and Talbot's own, a Joyce scholar.

Also recognised this year was The Innocents by Francesca Segal, which won the prize for first novel. Inspired by Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, the judges described it as “affectionate and witty”.

Sally Gardner won the Children's prize for Maggot Moon. The author was once described as “unteachable” because of her severe dyslexia and was 14 before she could read at all. She said winning the prize was an inspiration “for anyone who dreams”.

The Costa awards, which were previously sponsored by Whitbread, were set up in 1985. The five category winners – selected earlier this month – compete for the overall Book of the Year prize.

This is the 11th novel to win the award, including last year's victor, Pure, by Andrew Miller. The prize has been won by a biography five times, poetry seven times and once by a children's book: Philip Pullman's The Amber Spyglass in 2001.

Winning words: Hilary’s awards haul

Hilary Mantel was first shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2006 for her 2005 novel, Beyond Black. She lost out to the eventual winner Zadie Smith’s On Beauty. Three years later in 2009 she won the Man Booker Prize for Wolf Hall, her novel about England in the 1520s.

The critically-acclaimed and runaway popular success also won Mantel the National Book Critics Award, the Walter Scott Prize, and the Specsavers National Book Awards, dubbed the “Oscars of the publishing industry”.

Last year, she became the first living author to win the Booker twice for Bring Up The Bodies.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face

books
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from How To Train Your Dragon 2

Review: Imaginative storytelling returns with vigour

film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland and Jena Malone in Mockinjay: Part 1

film
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv
Arts and Entertainment
A waxwork of Jane Austen has been unveiled at The Jane Austen Centre in Bath

books
Arts and Entertainment
Britney Spears has been caught singing without Auto-Tune

music
Arts and Entertainment
Unless films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, pictured, can buck the trend, this summer could be the first in 13 years that not a single Hollywood blockbuster takes $300m

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has her magic LSD brain stolen in this crazy video produced with The Flaming Lips

music
Arts and Entertainment
Gay icons: Sesame Street's Bert (right) and Ernie

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Robin Thicke and actress Paula Patton

music
Arts and Entertainment
The new film will be shot in the same studios as the Harry Potter films

books
Arts and Entertainment
Duncan Bannatyne left school at 15 and was still penniless at 29

Bannatyne leaves Dragon's Den

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The French economist Thomas Piketty wrote that global inequality has worsened

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck plays a despondent Nick Dunne in David Fincher's 'Gone Girl'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty (L) and Carl Barât look at the scene as people begin to be crushed

music
Arts and Entertainment

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Caral Barat of The Libertines performs on stage at British Summer Time Festival at Hyde Park

music
Arts and Entertainment
Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea perform on stage at the Billboard Music Awards 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Zina Saro-Wiwa

art
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

    Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

    Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
    Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

    Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

    This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
    Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

    Why did we stop eating whelks?

    Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice