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Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

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Adult Book of the Month

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Published by Fourth Estate in 2012

The second volume in Mantel’s award winning trilogy based on the life of Thomas Cromwell and the Tudors is as riveting a read as the first volume Wolf Hall. Both volumes are rich in detail, absorbing in storyline and unputdownable once you get beyond the first chapter. Both stand independently and can be read without the need to reference the other but for a complete immersion into Tudor life and the foibles and politics of the era –a comprehensive understanding is gained by reading both books in sequence.

In Bring Up the Bodies we encounter Anne Boleyn nearing the end of her marriage to Henry V111 who has grown weary of her. Henry has spent seven turbulent years in trying to marry her and just short of three years married to her. She has produced a female heir – Elizabeth the First but loses a male child in early pregnancy. Thomas Cromwell, confidante and Chief Minister to Henry is waiting in the wings to do the king’s bidding to bring her and her family down. Over the course of just three weeks Anne is arrested, tried for treason and adultery, and executed. Cromwell is instrumental in building the case against her. Already, the king has replaced her in his affections with Jane Seymour whom he marries eleven days after Anne’s execution. Neither Henry, Cromwell nor England emerge undamaged from this dark period of English history.

Hilary Mantel was born in Derbyshire, England. Her novel, Wolf Hall (2009), was the winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize for Fiction and was shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Novel Award and 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction.

Bring Up the Bodies is one of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Best Books of 2012 and one of The Washington Post's 10 Best Books of 2012. It won the Man Booker Prize in 2012 and trended on the New York Times bestseller list.

By the same author:
Beyond Black
A Change of Climate
An Experiment in Love
The Giant, O’Brien
Giving Up the Ghost
Learning to Talk
A Place of Greater Safety