A Cromer publisher just missed out on one of the biggest prizes in literature when the Man Booker Prize was won by a rival.

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Chris and Jen Hamilton-Emery from Salt Publishing were at The Guildhall in London on Tuesday evening to hear whether their publication, The Lighthouse by Alison Moore, had been chosen by judges.

But the trip ended in disappointment when the prize was won by Hilary Mantel for her novel Bring Up the Bodies.

Mrs Mantel became the first woman and the first British author to win the Man Booker Prize twice.

Her novel, a sequel to her 2009 winner Wolf Hall, was hailed by chairman of the judges Sir Peter Stothard for the power of its prose and her ability to create moral ambiguity.

The book, published by Fourth Estate, forms the middle part of the trilogy about the life of Thomas Cromwell.

Other titles to miss out were Will Self’s novel Umbrella, which was many critics’ tip for the award, The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng, Swimming Home by Deborah Levy and Narcopolis by Jeet Thayll.

Mrs Mantell wins £50,000.

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