Double delight for best-selling novelist and ageing champion in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Best-selling author and University of Sheffield graduate Hilary Mantel has been honoured for her services to literature in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The 61-year-old novelist, who is the first woman and British writer in history to win the Man Booker Prize twice for her blockbuster historic novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, is to become a Dame of the British EmpireDame Hilary Mantel.

On receiving news about the prestigious accolade Dame Hilary said: “I’m delighted to receive this honour. It’s given for services to literature but I see it not so much as a reward for the past, more as encouragement for the future.

"It means a great deal to have my efforts recognised, especially as I feel I've come to a new phase in my creative life.

"I hope it will please the many people who have helped, guided and encouraged me over a writing career of some 30 years."

Dame Hilary began writing in the mid-1970s however, it was not until 1985 that her first novel, Every Day Is Mother’s Day, was picked up by publishers and hit the shelves.

Hilary graduated with a degree in 1973 and was previously awarded a CBE and the Honorary Doctorate of Letters degree from the University of Sheffield in 2005. She is currently writing the third instalment of her award-winning trilogy, The Mirror and the Light.

Professor Alan Walker from the Department of Sociological Studies was also awarded Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the prestigious honours list which was announced on Saturday (14 June 2014).

The Professor of Social Policy and Social Gerontology and New Dynamics of Ageing director has an exemplary career-long record in championing impact of research – most recently demonstrated as the central aim of the £22 million collaborative New Dynamics of Ageing (NDA) Programme.

He was recently named ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Impact Champion of the Year at the inaugural ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize for his work on ageing, including quality of life, building stronger links between research and policy, and identifying the priorities for growing older and health.

Professor Walker said: "I am absolutely delighted by this honour for services to social science. It recognises a long and sustained contribution to social research in several fields including ageing.

"I am really pleased too that it acknowledges the leading position of the Department of Sociological Studies in social science research. I am also very grateful for the continuing support of Departmental and Faculty colleagues in this University and would be glad if they regarded it as a collective honour."

Professor Alan WalkerProfessor Walker, who joined the University in 1977, is also leading the FUTURAGE Road Map project which will provide the European research agenda for ageing over the next 10 years.

The Road Map, which was launched at European Parliament, brings together 24 partners, 14 European countries and over 700 contributors and organisations representing many thousands of people to create a better future for ageing in Europe.

Professor Paul White, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield said: “We are extremely proud and delighted that Dame Hilary Mantel and Professor Alan Walker CBE, have been awarded such prestigious honours and received well deserved recognition for exceptional services to their respective fields.

“Dame Hilary’s achievements as a novelist are truly outstanding and Professor Walker’s dedication and contribution to social policy with regards to ageing has proved inspiration across a wide range of disciplines.”

Additional information

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