Warning: I’m getting heavily into the Tudors right now, maybe it’s all the monarchist celebrations this month.
I tried reading Wolf Hall when it originally came out but didn’t get into it and gave up, goodness knows why as I’ve just read the sequel, Bring Up The Bodies and I absolutely loved it (I’m now going to go back and try Wolf Hall again because I am in absolute mourning that I’ve finished Bring Up The Bodies).
Bring Up The Bodies follows Thomas Cromwell during the downfall of Anne Boleyn and although Cromwell is a bit of a sinister guy (certainly to the people who he felt needed to be removed for the King), I couldn’t help but like the guy, question his morals all you like considering he managed to get possibly innocent men executed in his mission to free the King from his wife who had failed to give him a male heir but he comes across in the book as an extremely loyal man doing his job (although a capacity for revenge is in there to and you question at points exactly who his loyalty is to). And he wasn’t going round just executing people who got in the King’s way, some of the laws he tried to pass through parliament were very compassionate towards commoners and (in the book at least) he never forgot his commoner roots. Hilary Mantel also gives Cromwell some very wryly funny lines and also some beautiful lines to (particularly the last paragraph), I’m not normally someone who remembers (or particularly wants to remember) quotes but there were whole chunks of that book I would like to keep in my head.
- Hilary Mantel Continues Her Bloody Brilliant Tudor Saga With Bring Up the Bodies (entertainment.time.com)
- Hay Festival 2012: Hilary Mantel: Cromwell is a work in progress (telegraph.co.uk)
- Another Mantel masterpiece? (bbc.co.uk)
- Making history (guardian.co.uk)
- Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel: review (telegraph.co.uk)
- How I Wrote It: Hilary Mantel on “Bring Up the Bodies” (omnivoracious.com)