Hilary Mantel's Booker Prize-winning novel Wolf Hall is being adapted for BBC2.
Channel boss Janice Hadlow said the book, about Henry VIII's adviser Thomas Cromwell, is "a great contemporary novel, a great adaptation".
Making the announcement at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Hadlow said the channel was "very fortunate to have the rights" to the bestseller and its follow-up, Bring Up The Bodies.
The books are being adapted by Peter Straughan who wrote the critically lauded film version of spy thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
The six-part series of Wolf Hall follows Cromwell's rise and fall in the Tudor Court.
Born in Glossop, Derbyshire, Mantel worked as a social worker before living in Botswana and Saudi Arabia, returning to Britain in the mid-1980s.
Wolf Hall was propelled into the bestseller lists after winning the prestigious literary prize in 2009.