Gena's Reviews > Bring Up the Bodies

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
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's review
Oct 10, 2012

it was amazing
Read from July 30 to October 10, 2012

This, like Wolf Hall, is fantastic, gripping historical fiction. As someone whose professional work is based in large part on Foucault's History of Sexuality, I find the unhistoricized sexual narrative (specifically, here, the presumption that everyone, even living embodiments of state, is ultimately "driven" by the same secret carnal appetites) increasingly distracting—this is a very modern way of imagining the political motivations of the Tudor court. I would be interested in reading a version of this story that attempted to recreate the more foreign aspects of early modern sexual politics. But the modernization of Tudor psyches is the foundation of this whole series, and it's primarily aimed at generating a more complex version of Thomas Cromwell to counter the sketchy villain of popular history. I'm not about to fault a fiction for being fictional, and the portrait of Cromwell, utterly fantastic, is totally compelling.
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Sheyda you finished it! we can talk about it now...i loved it.

Gena Sheyda wrote: "you finished it! we can talk about it now...i loved it."

Me too. I think my review went up after your comment. I knew I was going to be a bitch about "nonhistoricized sexuality," but maybe you can appreciate that, or even talk me down from it.

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