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Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell Trilogy Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Hilary Mantel
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,809 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The greatest literary sensation of recent times – and now the inspiration for a major BBC series, starring Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis and directed by Peter Kosminsky.

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2012.

Continuing what began in the Man Booker Prize-winning WOLF HALL, we return to the court of Henry VIII.

The volatile Anne Boleyn is now Queen, her career seemingly entwined with that of Cromwell. The split from the Catholic Church has left England dangerously isolated, and Anne has failed to give the king an heir. And when the King begins to fall in love with self-effacing Jane Seymour, the ever-pragmatic Cromwell must negotiate within an increasingly perilous court to satisfy Henry, defend the nation and, above all, to secure his own rise in the world. Neither minister nor king will emerge unscathed from the bloody theatre of Anne’s final days.

An astounding literary accomplishment, BRING UP THE BODIES is the story of this most terrifying moment of history, by one of our greatest living novelists.

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‘Picks up the body parts where “Wolf Hall” left off … literary invention does not fail her: she's as deft and verbally adroit as ever’ Margaret Atwood, Guardian

‘Bring Up The Bodies succeeds brilliantly in every particle of this: it’s an imaginative achievement to exhaust superlatives’ The Spectator

‘Historical novel? Of course, and probably the best to be published since “Wolf Hall”' Andrew Motion, The Times

‘Mantel’s genius in the retelling of this oft-told tale is her knack of reaching inside people’s heads into the nooks and crannies of their thoughts, seeing what many others don’t …
I hesitate to use the term ‘genius’ but …’ Kathy Stevenson, Daily Mail

‘Bring Up The Bodies should net its author another Booker Prize’ Amanda Craig, New Statesman

‘Where much historical fiction gets entangled in the simulation of historical authenticity, Mantel bypasses those knots of concoction, and proceeds as if authenticity were magic rather than a science. She knows that what gives fiction its vitality is not the accurate detail but the animate one, and that novelists are creators, not coroners, of the human case … In short, this novelist has the maddeningly unteachable gift of being interesting.’ James Wood, The New Yorker

‘…a magnificent encore from first page to last’ Mail on Sunday

‘An outstandingly good read … Fans of ‘Wolf Hall’ will relish this book, but “Bring Up the Bodies” also stands alone’ The Economist

‘This is a great novel of dark and dirty passions, public and private. It is also an exploration of what still shocks us… A truly great story, it rolls on.’ James Naughtie, FT

‘There is no sense in which Bring Up the Bodies is a simple follow-up or continuation of Wolf Hall. More then most, Mantel is a committed revolutionary novelist’ TLS

About the Author

Hilary Mantel is one of our most important living writers. In winning the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2012 for Bring Up the Bodies she has become the first British author and also the first woman to win the prize twice. She is the author of twelve books, including A Place of Greater Safety, Giving Up the Ghost, Beyond Black, which was shortlisted for the 2006 Orange Prize, and Wolf Hall, which won the 2009 Man Booker Prize.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1556 KB
  • Print Length: 436 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (10 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,809 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,595 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Hilary Mantel is the author of thirteen books , including A Place of Greater Safety, Beyond Black, and the memoir Giving up the Ghost. Her two most recent novels, Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring up the Bodies have both been awarded The Man Booker Prize - an unprecedented achievement.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
414 of 442 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'But that was long ago and in another country' 15 May 2012
'His children are falling from the sky,' is the arresting opening sentence of the second novel in Mantel's trilogy, exploring the life of Thomas Cromwell at the court of Henry VIII. Hawks at the king's hunting party in Wiltshire have been named after Cromwell's dead daughters, an odd memorial, but one that immediately reminds us of Cromwell's loss of those dear to him, and the cut-throat world in which he is now a key player. 'When they look down they see nothing but their prey, and the borrowed plumes of the hunters; they see a flittering, flinching universe, a universe filled with their dinner.'

As has been observed by others, Mantel is writing at the height of her powers and her language is full of delights. She doesn't burden us with her research, which effortlessly provides the structure to her novel - it is her sensory description which allows us to think we know what it is to inhabit the world of Henry Tudor. She conjures up - with even more skill perhaps - the workings of Cromwell's mind and the political machinations required to serve his king and to remove and execute a queen, according to the law of England. Cromwell has read Machiavelli and clearly thinks he could write better if he had the time - but there are always papers, always business to be attended to if the kingdom is to prosper.

Wolf Hall is an extraordinary novel, fully deserving of its prizes and the praise it gathered; Bring Up the Bodies is its near equal. If Wolf Hall was very much about the fall of Wolsey and the rise of Cromwell to high office, Bring Up the Bodies is about Cromwell holding on to power while Anne Boleyn loses it, and the cost of that to both. Mantel is writing a trilogy and this makes sense for the second act.
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60 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine body of work 14 Aug. 2012
After the superbly crafted Wolf Hall no one could have expected the sequel, Bring Up The Bodies to extend and develop the stylistic writing and brilliantly realized imagery- and yet it does, triumphantly so that as a deliberately shorter 'middle book' of a trilogy the story of Cromwell and the fall of Ann Boleyn, is both dark and totally gripping. This is no filler middle book but a brilliant tour de force of daring and beautiful writing. Whilst in Wolf Hall the narrative imagery and establishment of characters/setting seemed to dominate here it is the dialogue sequences that stand out with wonderfully crafted confrontations between Cromwell and Boleyn and as her world implodes the supposed "lovers" that Cromwell entraps. The daring also comes in Cromwell's thought world as he occasionally lapses into fantasy reverie about the situations that he both creates and is entangled in. His increasing isolation (as he works late and almost constantly) is offset by endless summonses and orders from the king to deal with Boleyn and engineer the marriage to Jane Seymour. In the background there are constant references to Wolsey and More as victims of the kings capricious whims or Boleyns supposed scheming. Within all this Mantel finds time for dark humour (call me rizly) and the wonderful mangling of his name in mock affectionate terms (Henry calls him crumb, Boleyn mangles his name in pseudo French pronunciation) so that he appears to be a shapeshifter- Cromwell uses a protean and prodigious energy to serve all his "masters" whilst himself remaining the master of his own destiny, yet enemies remind him of his probable fate under Henry if he puts a foot wrong. Mantel is highly skilled, sincere and totally in control of her material. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The perfect companion for all historical fiction enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

It's 1535, and Henry VIII has tired of his second wife, Anne Boleyn. She has failed to do what she promised: produce a male heir. As is his wont, the king now has his eye on the plain, simple, young virgin, Jane Seymour. The difficulty is, of course, that in order to have Anne, Henry split with Rome and created his own church. His actions have placed England in a position of dangerous isolation. Enter Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son now far from his humble origins. As Chief Minister to Henry VIII, he realizes immediately what is at stake when he observes the king falling in love with young Jane Seymour: that is, not only the king's pleasure, but the nation's safety. Cromwell must negotiate a "truth" that will satisfy Henry, and secure both the nation and his own position. He is fascinating to observe as he proceeds to expertly maneuver the "sexual politics" of the court and the murkiness of its gossip: "each step in the process clear, logical, and designed to create corpses by due process of law" (364). Cromwell, as he always does, will achieve his end; but this time neither he nor Henry VIII will escape undamaged from the exploit.

I cannot say enough about Mantel's portrayal of Thomas Cromwell. He is an absolutely fascinating character: wily, intelligent, loyal, cunning, honourable, cutthroat - a foil unto himself. I remember reading Wolf Hall and being spellbound by his exceptional, streetwise, shrewd observance of others - and how that talent served him in his rise to power. The trait is again on full display in Bring Up the Bodies.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant - when will the third book be published?
Published 9 hours ago by Mr. Francis Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought for my very erudite Mother but it has proved to be a disappointment
Published 2 days ago by J. Mosse
5.0 out of 5 stars So much better than Wolf Hall!
Almost a year on from my self-enforced battle through Wolf Hall, I decided the time had finally come for me to return to he, Cromwell and the life of the Tudor court. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Victoria
4.0 out of 5 stars Trusting Hilary Mantel
Thought this book informative and a very good read. Also more importantly for me I trust Hilary Mantel to provide accurate historical background to her characterisation of Thomas... Read more
Published 3 days ago by S. Crispin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 days ago by Boudicca
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting book
Published 5 days ago by zoe
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read.
Better than wolf hall. Hope there is a follow up!
Published 8 days ago by Mike
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent follow on to Wolf Hall
Fabulous read! I thought this was better than Wolf Hall, which I found hard work, possibly because I was familiar with the characters and didn't need to be referring back all the... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Happywife
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Stimulating and enjoyable
Published 17 days ago by Mr. D. F. Radcliffe
Published 19 days ago by jayne provost
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