Budleigh author Hilary Mantel to put desk under the hammer

budleigh book

Hilary Mantel with her auctioned off desk. - Credit: Hilary Mantel.

Budleigh Salterton-based author Hilary Mantel is to auction the desk on which she wrote her twice Booker Prize-winning trilogy.

The desk will go under the hammer at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on Tuesday, June 22. It has an estimated price of between £1,000 and £1,500 and the funds raised will go towards supporting literacy in the South West. 

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.”

The author has decided to part with the pedestal desk, because she and her husband Gerald McEwen are moving from Budleigh to Ireland and she no longer needs a desk this size in her new property.

As President of the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival, she decided to offer it up for auction to support the Festival’s work in schools in the region.

Most Read

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.

Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival runs for five days in September and takes authors free of charge into schools to engage children in reading.

Keep an eye out in the Exmouth and Budleigh Journal and on our websites soon for a full line-up this year.

“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.”