Winner of the 2011 Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction, Hilary comes back to where it all began, to Abbotsford, where Scott invented the genre. The final part of her extraordinary trilogy on the life of Thomas Cromwell, The Mirror and the Light, chronicles the continuing rise and the eventual fall of this low-born, gifted and loyal servant of Henry VIII. Hailed as one of the greatest English novels of the 21st century, critics have written that Mantel’s latest novel makes 99% of contemporary literary fiction feel utterly pale and bloodless by comparison. Walter Scott would have agreed. Chaired by James Naughtie.