Two-time Booker Prize–winning author Hilary Mantel died on September 22 at a hospital in Exeter, England, of complications from a stroke she suffered two days earlier. She was 70.

Mantel was born on July 6, 1952, in Glossop, England. She graduated from the University of Sheffield in 1973 and, that same year, married geologist Gerald McEwan. Her debut novel, Every Day is Mother's Day, was published in 1985.

She was best known for her Cromwell trilogy, which centered on the Tudor-era figure Thomas Cromwell and comprised the novels Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies, and The Mirror and the Light. In all, she authored 15 books: 12 novels, two story collections, and a memoir.

Mantel's Cromwell trilogy earned both critical acclaim and bestseller status. The author won her first Man Booker Prize in 2009 for Wolf Hall and her second for the its 2012 sequel Bring Up the Bodies. The trilogy's conclusion, The Mirror and the Light, was longlisted for the Booker Prize. According to NPD Bookscan, Wolf Hall has sold more than 600,000 copies and Bring Up the Bodies more than 300,000 in the U.S. The Mirror and the Light, published in March 2020, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestsellers list and has sold more than 135,000 copies.

"I've had Cromwell in view all my writing career," Mantel told PW in a 2020 interview. "It seemed like a story with endless ambiguity, which is what sustains a writer.... There’s so much we will never know, and what attracts me as a novelist is the combination of documented fact—the heavily-inked paper—and what’s missing and unknown—the white space."

Mantel was the winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award, Costa Book Award, David Cohen Prize, and British Academy President's Medal, and has twice been named U.K. Author of the Year by the British Book Awards. In 2014, she was made a dame of the United Kingdom.

“That we won't have the pleasure of any more of her words is unbearable,” her longtime editor, Nicholas Pearson, told PBS after her death. “What we do have is a body of work that will be read for generations." He also mentioned that, as recently as a month before her sudden death, Mantel had been working on a new novel.

“From her epic trilogy on the life of Thomas Cromwell to her poignant memoir and her cutting-edge short stories, everything about Hilary Mantel’s writing was perfection on the page and a gift for readers,” Mantel's U.S. publisher, Macmillan, said in a statement. “But moreover, we will miss her great spirit and kindness, and remember her with tremendous affection.”