Novelist Hilary Mantel has won the Man Booker Prize with an account of the life of Thomas Cromwell.
Wolf Hall was named winner at a ceremony at the Guildhall in London on Tuesday.
The final vote was a 3-2 in Mantel's favour. She was the bookmakers' favourite to win.
Wolf Hall follows the rise of Cromwell from the service of Cardinal Wolsey to one of King Henry VIII's most trusted aides, who helped the monarch in his attempts to break with the papacy in Rome in the 16th century.
Mantel, 57, receives a cheque for £50,000 ($US80,000). She plans to publish a sequel that follows Cromwell to his execution in 1540.
Wolf Hall has sold nearly 50,000 copies hard-back edition in Britain by the end of September.