Bring Up the Bodies Paperback – 1 Jan 2015
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‘The greatest modern English prose writer working today’ Sir Peter Stothard, Chairman of the Man Booker Prize
‘“Bring Up the Bodies” is simply exceptional…I envy anyone who hasn’t yet read it’ Sandra Parsons, Daily Mail
‘A gripping story of tumbling fury and terror’ Philip Hensher, Independent on Sunday
‘In another league. This ongoing story of Henry VIII’s right-hand man is the finest piece of historical fiction I have ever read. A staggering achievement’ Sarah Crompton, Sunday Telegraph
‘Great novel – worthy companion to Wolf Hall … Hurry up with the third novel Hilary’ Daily Express
From the Inside Flap
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.
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I must admit that I had wondered how the author would treat Cromwell's part in these episodes while remaining empathetic to Cromwell (as the story is written from Cromwell's perspective, and so must show Cromwell in his own honest light); but this was brilliantly done. The author's character portrayal remains true, and Cromwell sails through his life on his even keel. But even as Anne is destroyed, Cromwell is at his most powerful, and yet most vulnerable; if Anne's enemies can remove her from the Court and the world, can they not remove Cromwell also?
A brilliant book, and a brilliant follow-up to Wolf Hall; can't wait for the final book in the trilogy when Cromwell must reconcile his life to his own fate. In this story, at least, he cannot remain a watcher on the sidelines, but must surely have to fully participate in a close investigation of his own moral and ethical values.
Cromwell is complex and fascinatingly portrayed - he is real - we can see him as he bulks out in older age - we believe in him as his household do and we care for him despite knowing his capabilities in the service of King and self - he is a pragmatist - he gives us a rationale for his behavior and we buy in to him totally, or at least I did. This is powerful literature - she is genius - she is funny - she is authentic and this authenticity enables us to accept that while she is filling some of the historical blanks how could we possibly do this for ourselves reading the archives? Who could animate these pictures of Tudor culture life and politics for us but Hillary? I can hear the great roars out there from those who don't feel quite so drawn in as me, however, my greatest fear is that she will not move on through the Tudor line to Elizabeth. You see Hillary I wont know her in my heart and mind unless you introduce us personally so we can spend time together and she stays with me as Henry and Cromwell have. I do insist it is you because others have tried and well failed to produce a good history lesson or novel to grip me. l trust you will do both mind blowingly and brilliantly. Anybody interested in a read that you can't put down this is for you. If you love both literature and history together at its most incisive, most entertaining and enlightening, clever and imaginative this is definitely for you.