Bonhams to Sell Desk at which Hilary Mantel Wrote Her Booker Prize Winning Novels
"It has served me well and has a great record of turning out prize winners"

Dame Hilary Mantel is to auction the desk at which she wrote her twice Booker Prize winning trilogy and other novels at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on Wednesday 22 June. It is estimated at £1,000-1,500 and the funds raised will go towards supporting literacy in the Southwest.

The pine desk – specially made for the world-renowned writer in a workshop in Norfolk - has produced all her novels since A Change of Climate in 1994, including Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies and The Mirror and the Light. In Dame Hilary's own words: "It has served me well and has a great record of turning out prize winners."

Bonhams Head of Books and Manuscripts Matthew Haley said: "It's a tremendous honour to be entrusted with the sale of this very special desk. Hilary Mantel is one of the true greats of modern English literature with a marvellous ability to appeal to a very wide range of readers"

Hilary Mantel has decided to part with the pedestal desk, which comes in three parts for easier transportation, because she and her husband Gerald McEwen are moving to Ireland and she no longer needs a desk this size in her new property. As President of the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival, where the couple currently live, she has decided to offer it up for auction to support the Festival's work in schools in the region.

The highest bidder will also find some extras in the desk drawers, as mementoes of her illustrious writing career while seated at it crafting her best-selling novels.

The prestigious Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival, which runs for 5 days in September, is a charity and takes authors free of charge into schools to engage children in reading for pleasure and all the benefits that brings in terms of well-being, literacy and life chances. This year the Festival is also providing as many children as it can in the region with a free book, responding to the National Literacy Trust's findings that 1 in 11 children has not a single book at home.

"Covid restrictions and the loss of school days will only have made engagement in reading more challenging," says the Festival's Artistic Director, Annie Ashworth, "and the proceeds from this auction will enable us to make a huge difference to children's lives and their futures."

Note to Editors

Dame Hilary Mantel will not be available for interviews about the sale.

The Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival, set up in 2009 and with twice Booker Prize winner Dame Hilary Mantel as its president, is now one of the leading cultural events in Devon and the South West, featuring some of the most exciting writers, thinkers, experts and opinion-formers, as well as lively panel events, workshops for writers and crafters and lots of events for families to enjoy. Set on the stunning Jurassic Coast, the Festival takes place across five days in September (14-18 September 2022) and also has a Spring Weekend. For further information:

18 May 2022


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