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Wolf Hall wins first Walter Scott Prize

21st June 2010

The inaugural GBP 25,000 Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction has been won by Hilary Mantel for Wolf Hall.

Judges for the award, which is part of the Borders Book Festival in Scotland and is open to works set at least 60 years in the past, said Wolf Hall is 'as good as the historical novel gets'.

'Mantel's empathy for, and assimilation of, her world is so seamless and effortless as to be almost disturbing,' the panel added.

The author was unable to attend the awards ceremony because of illness, but issued a statement that praised the Walter Scott Prize for bringing attention to the historical fiction genre.

She added that she is 'astonished and delighted and gratified' to be the first winner of the honour.

Wolf Hall has been recognised by a number of literary awards, previously winning the Man Booker Prize 2009 and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction.

The novel was also the favourite to win the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction, but was beaten by Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna.

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