Bring Up the Bodies
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 wil ...more
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How good is this book? It's so good that
(i) I am trying to ration myself to only 50 pages a day, to spin out the experience of reading it just that little bit longer
(ii) I am failing miserably in objective (i) above, because I am an undisciplined wretch, ...more
For example, my favourite passage in the book:
“He looks around at his guests. All are prepared. A Latin grace; English would be his c ...more
Costa Book Award 2012
Women’s Prize for Fiction nominee 2013
Brilliant! A masterful piece of literature! I loved WOLF HALL, the first book in the Thomas Cromwell series, but I have to say I enjoyed BRING UP THE BODIES even more If that is even possible. There is no lack of excitement in book #2. Henry VIII asks Cromwell to get rid of Anne Boleyn as she hasn’t given him a son. The King wants to make way for another, Jane Seymour, that has caught his eye. His first wife, Katherine, ...more
His whole career has been an education in hypocrisy. Eyes that once skewered him now kindle with simulated regard. Hands that would like to knock his hat off now reach out to take his hand, sometimes in a crushing grip. He has spun his enemies to face him, to join him: as in a dance. He means to spin them away again, so they look down the long cold vista of their years: so they feel the wind, the wind of exposed places, that cuts to the bone: so they bed down in ruins, and wake up cold.Be c ...more
The books of Hilary Mantel on Thomas Cromwell are superb, grande. We all know the history of Henry VIII but Wolfhall and Bring Up the Bodies are refreshing, sharp, intelligent, emotional...so much more than 'just' historic tales. I give a slight preference to Wolf Hall, because that book was groundbreaking, a new take on this famous piece of history, seen through the eyes of Thomas ...more
It's one of those works that I lingered over the last pages of, not wanting it to end: the prose is that good. And it installed itself into my psyche. After putting it down at night and as I fell asleep, words, phrases, sentences rolled through my head. (This has happened to me before, but th ...more
“This book is of course not about Ann...more
Cromwell now to me will always be "he, Cromwell". This little stylistic flourish did add clarity, compared with Wolf Hall. To purposefully use just "he" in the first book was at times confusing, forcing one to stop and step out of the story to regain one's bearings. Sort of like breaking the fourth wall -- and perhaps that was the point then, a metafictional technique? but it was too intrusive.
This book just sailed on from Wolf Hall ...more
You can be merry with the king, you can share a joke with him. But as Thomas More used to say, it's like sporting with a tamed lion. You tousle its mane and pull its ears, but all the time you're thinking, those claws, those claws, those claws.
Sometimes I needed to press myself to read on in Wolf Hall; with Bring Up the Bodies I stayed up late just to keep on reading. A breathless j ...more
I started reading Bring Up the Bodies as soon as I finished Wolf Hall, and I've enjoyed this series so much I'm excited for Mantel's third volume, whenever it's published.
While Wolf Hall focused on the rise of Anne Boleyn and how she became Queen of England, Bring Up the Bodies is about how the King decides to leave Anne when she can't give him a son, and her subsequent downfall and execution. The st ...more
Look, he says: once you have exhausted the process of negotiation and compromise, one you have fixed on the destruction of an enemy, that destruction must be swift and it must be perfect. Before you even glance in his direction, you should have his name on a warrant, the ports blocked, his wife and friends bought, his heir under your protection, his money in your strong room and his dog running ...more
Bring Up the Bodies is a historical novel by Hilary Mantel and sequel to her award-winning Wolf Hall. It is the second part of a planned trilogy charting the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell, the powerful minister in the court of King Henry VIII. It is to be followed by The Mirror and the Light.
Bring Up the Bodies begins not long after the conclusion of Wolf Hall. The King and Thomas Cromwell, who is now Master Secretary to the King's Pri ...more
Cromwell is the right-hand man of Henry the VIII. His masterful manipulation of people and circumstances to make the world as Henry wants it has brought Cromwell wealth and power.
Getting Anne Boleyn on the throne was a struggle. Now he has to get her off of it without losing his own head in the process.
Mantel doesn't just tell history, she makes it come alive.
In one scene I can't get out of my head: Henry ...more
Most of the joy of "Bring up the Bodies" is Mantel's lovely writing, and her masterful creation and depiction of the series' main protagonist Thomas Cromwell. The story is told mainly from a third person perspective, but it is an omniscient narrato ...more
― Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies
100 pages in and it is hard to miss that this isn't just a nominal sequel to Wolf Hall, but rather the first book's logical annex. There is no drop-off in complexity. No laxity of language. Again, Mantel manages to shift form, change structure and reinvent her style. She even manages to g ...more
Incapable of generating a male heir to the throne of England, Anne Boleyn lost her special place in the king's heart (assuming he had one). She was now perfectly disposable and Cromwell was assigned to the dirty job.
Since it was not advisable to disappoint the King, Cromwell was determined to lead his mission to a happy ending (happy ending for Henry VIII, definitely not for Anne). Hence, he was not much concerned with scruples, and... as a result, he created a slightly dirty case ...more
'All the players gone,' Wriothesley says. 'All four who carried the cardinal to Hell; and also the poor fool Mark who made a ballad of their exploits.'
In this second chilling volume of her Cromwell trilogy, Mantel shows just how deep her 'hero' can be and how his emotions linger and fester beneath the cool, efficient, surface. The cardinal may have been dragged down a whole book ago but, for Cromwell, he's not forgotten - and the four young men who once made entertainment of his death to the ...more
"You perceive it is an old song that I am trying to rework. What pairs with blue? Apart from 'new'?"
I had a little bit of trouble getting into Cromwell's head in this book, the second in Mantel's Oliver Cromwell trilogy, but once I was there I was there. What the book really successfully replicated was the quite bewildering speed Henry VIII went off Anne Boleyn. One Tudor minute he was so obsessed with Anne that he was prepared ...more
Mantel still prefers to overuse her third person pronouns rather than use her main character’s name, which in the previous b ...more
Prior to this book's prequel, Wolf Hall (4 stars), I knew nothing about Henry VIII. I am a Filipino who had m ...more
This book has the more sensational part of Henry the ...more
I saw this book at the Book exchange box round the corner by St. Stephen's Church and swapped That Sweet Enemy for it, although after reading Wolf hall a few years ago I felt no need to continue reading the series. And even though I enjoyed this just as much as the lupine Hall, I would not recommend it particularly as literature beyond maybe a twenty or forty page sample to get a sense of it's style ...more
For me, Cromwell remains admirable, he had such exemplary hopes for England: one country, one coinage, one set of laws, one church albeit at Henry's bidding, good roads, good cr ...more
This is the sequel to Wolf Hall, which I read shortly after it won the Man Booker Prize. The fact that I thought I would be reading a book featuring Cavaliers and Roundheads indicates that (a) I hadn’t been paying much attention to book reviews and (b) I don’t really know much about the Tudors. Luckily it only took a paragraph for me to realise the novel was about Henry VIII’s Cromwell and not the other one, or else I would have been a very confused reader. In terms of the history, I had to rely ...more
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