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Bring Up the Bodies

Bring Up the Bodies [Kindle Edition]

Hilary Mantel
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,394 customer reviews)

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Product Description


‘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

Product Description

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2012, the 2012 Costa Book of the Year and shortlisted for the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

(Note that this ebook contains family trees, which are best viewed on a tablet.)

With this historic win for ‘Bring Up the Bodies’, Hilary Mantel becomes the first British author and the first woman to be awarded two Man Booker Prizes (her first was for ‘Wolf Hall’ in 2009).

By 1535 Thomas Cromwell is Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes having risen with those of Anne Boleyn, the king’s new wife. But Anne has failed to give the king an heir, and Cromwell watches as Henry falls for plain Jane Seymour. Cromwell must find a solution that will satisfy Henry, safeguard the nation and secure his own career. But 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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 824 KB
  • Print Length: 436 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0805090037
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (10 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,394 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #880 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
375 of 401 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring Up the Bodies 9 Oct 2013
By Steve D
Considering its predecessor was called Wolf Hall (the family home of the Seymours), it is not until the start of this sequel that we are actually taken there. Picking up a couple of months after the climax of the first book, which chronicled the rise of both Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell, we now come to Anne's downfall, whilst Cromwell appears like a man riding the crest of a wave, the surfboard bucking beneath his feet, one misstep threatening to tumble him into the jaws of the waiting sharks. He's made a lot of enemies, Cromwell, in his climb to become Henry's chief minister and advisor. Anne, meanwhile, three years as queen, has failed to provide a son and heir to the throne and - as rumours begin to circulate of the King's deficiencies in the bedroom being to blame, and of Anne's infidelities - suddenly Henry's eyes come to rest on young Jane Seymour (who, at this stage, I am assuming was fresh from her role in Live and Let Die, and was far too young to have considered Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman). Well, the writing is on the wall, isn't it? And, of course, it falls to Cromwell once again to facilitate the King's desires, knowing well enough the treacherous waters into which they will take him.

I suppose, in the wrong hands, telling a story to which everyone knows the outcome could be something of a poisoned chalice, a turgid drudge to a predictable conclusion. In the right hands, though, knowing what the outcome will be can lead to heightened tension: you know what's going to happen but you are so involved that you can only look on, helpless, as the characters fulfil their roles in the tragedy. Mantel's are most definitely the right hands. Perhaps her cleverest, neatest and best trick is to relate the events in the present tense.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enthralling Read 30 Sep 2013
By Fiona C
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Once i had finshed Wolf Hall, i had a choice to either read something completely different or to continue the saga with Bring up the Bodies. I chose the latter as i had thoroughly enjoyed reading its predecessor.

The story continues with the rise of Anne Boleyn and depicts her as being a very strong and often maniupulative woman. The manipulation could have been misconstrued by Henry the Eighth and members of court as "witchcraft" which was unfortunately one of the counts she was charged with. The story also introduces more of Jane Seymour (Henry's third wife) and depicts her as being a very timid, mouse like woman who some how manages to woe Henry.

The story continues through Thomas Cromwell's eyes with Anne's gradual downfall which was helped along in part by Thomas Cromwell and his gathering of information by Anne's ladies in waiting, one of whom being the sisiter-in-law of Anne, Lady Jane Rochford (wife of George Boleyn) who comes across in the story as being vindictive and at times quite spitful against both Anne and George.

The end of the book ends with Anne's executution on Tower Hill and her speech to the crowd. It does make for quite an emotional ending and I for one was left with a feeling that Anne had been framed with trumped up charges just so that Henry could be free to marry Jane Seymour...
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dense, but not deep 6 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This sequel fails to deliver the interest and and colour of Wolf Hall, and overall is pedestrian and boring.

Mantel persists in her strange narrative style: third person, with Cromwell often only referred to as 'he', with a first person's perspective. A new innovation is the awful phrase 'he, Cromwell', rather than just 'Cromwell' which makes the English appear worse, rather than better. As well as confusing the reader (with no gain in terms of more sophisticated understanding), this clumsy form of expression can lead to daft writing, such as "The earl is on his feet. He remains seated."

The readability of the novel is further diminished by the poor use of paragraphs, extraordinarily long chapters, and the lack of clear breaks between different scenes. I expect that everyone reads for a limited period at a time - certainly not for 150 pages without a break. Without obvious breaks in the text, and the tendency to segue directly from one event to the next, there is no logical place to stop reading, and when starting to read again, I often had to back track to find the thread of the narrative again. The novel has a 'stream of consciousness'feel to it, without the depth or insight that usually accompanies this style of writing, and gives no consideration to how the reader might respond to the text.

I've read many, many novels in my time, some quite long and demanding, eg Tolstoy's 'War and Peace', and 'Anna Karenina'. I don't mind thinking hard to get full value from the text, but in this case, I felt that maintaining the concentration required was more akin to understanding a tedious tax form, rather than appreciating literary depth.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank Goodness for long car journeys where I can listen non-stop for...
A great and intriguing historical tale. I learnt so much about English history while listening to this imagined book. Read more
Published 7 hours ago by C. M. Bates
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
A great follow-up to Wolf Hall Tudor life shown at its best and an insite into the mind of Henry VIII
Published 23 hours ago by David SE London
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!!
Having read Wolf Hall, I was apprehensive of how tedious Mantel's style can get. I was pleasantly surprised. This one turns out to be a page turner. Read more
Published 23 hours ago by hrhnair
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Amazing read, on the third reading as I am sure that I missed bits
Published 1 day ago by Michelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 day ago by Mat Snow
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Couldn't put it down.
Published 2 days ago by Jean Margaret Cousar
5.0 out of 5 stars What a writer, and what an imagination
Published 3 days ago by worried about current educational trneds
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Would use again, excellent
Published 3 days ago by Ted Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I lived it.
Published 5 days ago by pouncer
4.0 out of 5 stars Another authoritative recounting
Less dramatic and slower moving than Wolf Hall, but more studied and reflective
Cromwell has become more vulnerable and I am almost feeling sorry for him
. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Colin M. Davidson
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