Hilary Mantel's desk fetches more than £4,000 at auction

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

The desk on which Dame Hilary Mantel wrote her twice Booker Prize-winning Wolf Hall trilogy has sold at auction for £4,200.

The money raised is being given to the 2022 Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival.

Dame Hilary, who is president of the festival, offered the proceeds of the auction to support the event's charitable work, which is focused on encouraging children and young people to develop a lifelong love of reading and includes taking authors into schools and donating free books.

The pine desk – which was 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.

Dane Hilary said: "The desk has served me well and has a great record of turning out prize winners."

She decided to part with the desk because she and husband Gerald McEwen are moving to Ireland and she no longer needs a desk this big in her new property. 

Sue Briggs, chair of Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival, said: “We’re very grateful to Dame Hilary for donating the proceeds of the desk sale to the festival.

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"Our charitable aims include promoting a love of books and reading to young people and this donation will go a long way to helping us develop this work further.

“This year, the festival is also providing as many children as it can in the region with a free book, in response to the National Literacy Trust’s findings that in some areas of the UK one 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, so the proceeds from this auction will enable us to make a huge difference to children’s lives and their futures.”

The prestigious Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival runs for five days from September 14-18. 

For more information, visit www.budlitfest.org.uk