Author Hilary Mantel holds her award for the overall prize for her book "Bring up the Bodies" at the Costa Book Awards in central London. Photo: REUTERS/Andrew Winning

HILARY Mantel made literary history by becoming the first author to win both the Costa Book Award and the Man Booker Prize within a year.

She picked up the £30,000 Costa award for her novel Bring Up The Bodies three months after it won her the £50,000 Man Booker.

The book is the second in a planned trilogy about the turbulent life and relationships of King Henry VIII’s adviser Thomas Cromwell.

Miss Mantel, 60, is also the first UK author to win the Man Booker twice – the first book in the trilogy, Wolf Hall, was awarded the prize in 2009.

Last night Radio 4 presenter Dame Jenni Murray, chairman of the Costa judges, said the panel had been unanimous in choosing Bring Up The Bodies from the shortlist of five.

‘One book stood out head and shoulders – more than head and shoulders, on stilts – above the rest and that was Hilary Mantel,’ she said. ‘It is so poetic, so beautiful, it is set in its time but it is also incredibly modern.’

Dame Jenni said she read the shortlisted books on both her Kindle and in published form, and that old-fashioned books were full of ‘pleasures’ missing from new technology.

The other shortlisted works were a comic-style graphic memoir about James Joyce’s daughter, Dotter of her Father’s Eyes, by husband and wife team Mary and Bryan Talbot, children’s book Maggot Moon by dyslexic writer Sally Gardner, poet Kathleen Jamie’s collection The Overhaul and Francesca Segal’s first novel, The Innocents.

The judging panel included actress Jenny Agutter, broadcaster Katie Derham and writer DJ Taylor. - Daily Mail