Annet's Reviews > Bring Up the Bodies

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
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it was amazing
bookshelves: history, dark, wow-impressive, religion, very-british, beautiful-poetic, brilliant, family-ties

There are no endings. If you think so you are deceived as to their nature. They are all beginnings. Here is one....

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, 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 Cromwell. However, again Bring up the bodies is sublime and of course tells the dark tale of the fall of Anne Boleyn, fascinating. And Mantel is a great storyteller...

Something happens to Anne then, which later he will not quite understand. She seems to dissolve and slip from their grasp, from Kingston's hands and his, she seems to liquefy and elude them, and when she resolves herself once more into woman's form she is on hands and knees on the cobbles, her head thrown back, wailing.
Fitzwilliam, the Lord Chancellor, even her uncle, steps back; Kingston frowns, his deputy shakes his head, Richard Riche looks stricken. He, Cromwell, takes hold of her - since no one else will do it - and sets her back on her feet. She weighs nothing, and as he lifts her, her wail breaks off, as if her breath had been stopped. Silent, she steadies herself against his shoulder, leans into him: intent, complicit, read for the next thing they will do together, which is kill her.

About Cromwell.... what a fascinating character, re. my review of Wolf Hall, on the one hand a warm family man, on the other hand iron-hard when it comes to dealing with all the so-called 'accomplices' in the Anne Boleyn case and ruthlessly sending a whole group of people to their death by axe... Revenge... or self preservation? or both.... One thing is for sure: Cromwell is always planning ahead. A true chess player. And so far, he does that pretty well. Also very interesting in this book, the developing relation/friendship with Chapuys, ambassador of emperor Charles V.

'All the players are gone', Wriothesley says. 'All four who carried the cardinal to Hell. And also the poor foul Mark who made a ballad of their exploits.' 'All four, he says. 'All five.' 'A gentleman asked me, if this is what Cromwell does to the cardinal's lesser enemies, what will he do by and by to the King himself?

I am now watching the dvd of the BBC series that I was very careful not to touch while I was still reading the book... Very good as well. The part on Thomas More stands out in the series so far... for me.
Highly recommended. I do hope Ms. Mantel continues the Cromwell / Henry VIII story until the very end.... Can't wait for the third book.

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Reading Progress

October 17, 2012 – Shelved
September 13, 2015 – Started Reading
September 19, 2015 –
page 47
9.75% "Wonderful once again. Delicious reading, grand story"
January 29, 2016 –
page 83
January 30, 2016 –
page 136
January 31, 2016 –
page 170
February 27, 2016 –
page 201
February 28, 2016 –
page 245
March 19, 2016 –
page 311
March 20, 2016 –
page 353
March 22, 2016 –
page 390
March 25, 2016 –
page 457
March 26, 2016 – Shelved as: history
March 26, 2016 – Shelved as: dark
March 26, 2016 – Finished Reading
August 7, 2016 – Shelved as: wow-impressive
December 25, 2016 – Shelved as: religion
March 3, 2017 – Shelved as: very-british
March 23, 2017 – Shelved as: beautiful-poetic
March 23, 2017 – Shelved as: brilliant
January 25, 2019 – Shelved as: family-ties

Comments Showing 1-31 of 31 (31 new)

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message 1: by Caro (new) - added it

Caro the Helmet Lady Looking forward for more detailed one! ;)

Annet Step by step.... always building on reviews....

Diane S ☔ Was a five star read for me too. Super review.

Annet Totally agree & thanks Diane! Always following your reviews, enjoy your choices and observations :-)

message 5: by Tim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tim I read somewhere that the third and final instalment is pencilled in for October.

Annet Thanks Tim. So looking forward to it... How am I going to pass the time? :-)

Ellie Loved your review Annet! I also loved this book (I gave it 5 stars as well, despite, like you, a slight preference for the first-maybe I loved it so much because it opened up a different view of a familiar story).

I saw the stage production of both books and loved them (I was lucky enough to meet Mantel at the opening). I also can't wait for the third volume!

Annet Hi Ellie, good to hear from you, Happy Easter! :-) So is it on stage in London? That would be 'closeby' for me, well worth flying over to go see it...

B the BookAddict Annet, I loved both Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, essential reading I think! But I can't settle with the miniseries for some reason. I will have to try again.

I loved one character's nickname/pronunciation of 'Wriothesley' :)

Annet Essential reading, that is the right expression indeed! Can't wait for the next book. I'm watching the miniseries now step by step and I do like it. Great cast. The thing for me is.... the book is so rich in language and detail, you will never find that back in a mini-TV series. That is why I absolutely wanted to read Bring Up The Bodies first, before starting on the series.... Good to hear from you, B the BookAddict! (great name by the way :-))

Annet This is what Tim, one of my valued goodreads friends says:
" I read somewhere that the third and final instalment is pencilled in for October."

reply | deleteLoading trans | flag *

Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* Annet wrote: "This is what Tim, one of my valued goodreads friends says:
" I read somewhere that the third and final instalment is pencilled in for October."

Thanks Annet....can't wait!

reply | deleteLoading trans | flag *"

B the BookAddict Sandy, it's called The Mirror and the Light, just so you can add it to your tbr:)

message 15: by Steve (new)

Steve Wonderful review, Annet! I needed the reminder to make this a priority. Wolf Hall was so well done that Mantel should command my attention once again.

Did you like Mark Rylance in the role? I thought he was quite good.

Annet Hi Steve,
I had to get used to Mark Rylance in the beginning, but I have to say, he grows on you. I can see Cromwell in him. Great actor.

Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* B the BookAddict wrote: "Sandy, it's called The Mirror and the Light, just so you can add it to your tbr:)"

Thank you! *:D

Renata I thoroughly loved both of these books - I actually began with Bring up the Bodies and it is still my favorite. The introspection of Cromwell was a powerful force in these books. Mantel completely made me fall in love with this man! I think Rylance did an excellent job - but couldn't finish watching the series - it so made me pine for Mantels rich language. Waiting, waiting, waiting... for the next, even though it will break my heart.

Annet Thanks Renata, indeed brilliant books. It took me a while though to get through the start of the first, but then I knew it was a brilliant story. It is not known yet when the third book will be published, I think.... Can't wait!

Susan What a great reading experience to end the year with, Annet. I am desperate to read the third book, but also dreading it. Mantel is a brilliant author.

Annet Well said, dreading it too... as we all know how history goes....

message 22: by Lucy (new) - added it

Lucy Banks Want to read this, you've now reminded me to pop it on my 'to read' pile!

Annet That's great Lucy, highly recommended. MerryChristmas!

T. K. Elliott (Tiffany) Well, now's a good time if you're in the UK - it's heavily discounted on Kindle! (I picked up a copy myself...)

Michael Wow. Another great review of a great book!

Annet Thanks Michael, happy to be friends as per today :-)

message 27: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Great review Annet.

message 28: by Barbara (new) - added it

Barbara Great review, Annet. I read Wolf Hall and watched the PBS series. I still need to read this one. It is definitely an interesting period in history.

Annet This series is outstanding. Top of the bill, is what I think. And I am SO awaiting the final book in the series... Happy Weekend Barbara!

message 30: by Barbara (new) - added it

Barbara And to you, also, Annet.

message 31: by Collin (new)

Collin Great review Annet! :-)

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