Failed writer Darren Hughes has slammed the long-awaited third installment of Hilary Mantel’s blockbusting Wolf Hall trilogy (The Mirror and the Light) as nothing more than a “second-rate knock-off history book cut and paste job.”

Hughes who by day works as a Traffic Warden and has wallpapered his entire home with thousands of rejection letters from agents and publishers for his own work said.

‘I just don’t get what all the fuss is about. We all know about Oliver Cromwell and what he did. Yet Hilary Mantel is winning prizes and being feted for simply recycling history.’

‘Meanwhile proper authors like me and countless others struggle to earn a penny from our craft. It’s a bloody disgrace.’

‘I spend every spare minute I have writing volume after volume of my hard-hitting detective stories about a maverick DI called Sam Ratchett.’

‘He doesn’t play by the rules, has alcohol abuse issues and is on the waiting list for a gender reassignment.’

‘I’ve actually completed fourteen of them – all bloody brilliant too – and do you think I can get published? Can I fuck! But that’s publishing for you, a lash-up run by a bunch of elitist rich-kids called Candida, Poppy, Ollie and Justin!’

‘And OK, I can see what you’re thinking so let me stop you right there. I’m not bitter and twisted. No way. Right?’