Thursday 29 November 2012
Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Following on from Wolf Hall, Bring Up The Bodies follows the continuing fortunes of Thomas Cromwell from September 1535 to summer 1536 - as Henry VIII falls in love with Jane Seymour and tries to rid himself of his current encumbrance of wives. Cromwell, of course, is on hand to help and advise - believing the world to be a safer place for everyone, but particularly himself, if Anne Boleyn and her supporters are removed from the scene.
It's not the story that matters here - after all, if you didn't know already, a brief glance at a history book will tell you how it all ends. Mantel's skill is in bringing the movers and shakers of the Tudor Court to life on the page and in our minds. The reader feels themselves to be there, in that time and place, overhearing court gossip or Cromwell's family get-togethers.
I discovered after reading Wolf Hall that the world - or at least that part of it interested in books - was divided into two distinct groups; those who felt it captured the period, the workings of Henry's court in general and of Cromwell's mind in particular, so very well, who loved it and wanted more, more, more; and those for whom it all fell flat. No prizes for guessing I'm in the first group! I could sing Hilary Mantel's praises for pages and pages but basically if you adored Wolf Hall, you'll adore Bring Up The Bodies - and if you found Wolf Hall wasn't for you, then this won't be either.
Maryom's review - 5 stars
Publisher - Fourth Estate
Genre - adult fiction, historical
Buy Bring up the Bodies from Amazon