Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel

About the author: 

Hilary Mantel is the bestselling author of ten previous novels, including Wolf Hall, which sold more than 200,000 copies and won the 2009 Man Booker Prize. Her previous works include her novel, A Place of Greater Safety, and her memoir, Giving Up the Ghost. She lives in England with her husband.


The sequel to Hilary Mantel’s 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Wolf Hall delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn

Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice.

At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne’s head?

King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn

Thomas Cromwell

My thoughts:

We all know what happens to Anne Boleyn at the end of this tale but don’t let that put you off reading about these weeks leading up to her demise. This is one of my favorite time periods and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of reading about it. Especially if it’s written about by Hilary Mantel. I liked this book even better than the preceding Wolf Hall. This read a bit smoother for me, perhaps because I had a good grasp on the characters. (If you get confused there is a handy dandy list of the cast in the front of the book.)

Bring up the Bodies is (like Wolf Hall) told from the point of view of Thomas Cromwell. He, in my opinion, is one of the most fascinating men in history. Mantel gets to the heart of this man in way that I hadn’t encountered before.

I’m crossing my fingers that Ms. Mantel writes another book about this period. I’ll be the first in line.
Have you read Bring up the Bodies? What did you think? 

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