She won the Booker Prize twice, for 2009's Wolf Hall, the first in the Thomas Cromwell series, and its 2012 sequel Bring Up the Bodies.
The third and final book in the series, The Mirror and the Light, was published in 2020 to much critical acclaim, became a fiction best-seller and was longlisted for The Booker Prize 2020.
In an interview with The Guardian, Dame Hilary said it took years to research the books to ensure they were historically accurate portrayals.
"The essence of the thing is not to judge with hindsight, not to pass judgement from the lofty perch of the 21st Century when we know what happened," she said.
"It's to be there with them in that hunting party at Wolf Hall, moving forward with imperfect information and perhaps wrong expectations, but in any case moving forward into a future that is not pre-determined, but where chance and hazard will play a terrific role."
Author and journalist Caitlin Moran tweeted: "Hilary Mantel's mind was one of the most powerful and magic machines on Earth. We were lucky she wrote as much as she did, but holy hell, it's devastating that we've collectively lost something so astonishing."