Bring Up the Bodies

Bring Up the Bodies is the second historical novel in Hilary Mantel's award-winning Cromwell trilogy.

Hilary Mantel

By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry's second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. But Henry's actions have forced England into dangerous isolation, and Anne has failed to do what she promised: bear a son to secure the Tudor line. When Henry visits Wolf Hall, Cromwell watches as Henry falls in love with the silent, plain Jane Seymour. The minister sees what is at stake: not just the king's pleasure, but the safety of the nation. As he eases a way through the sexual politics of the court, and its miasma of gossip, he must negotiate a "truth" that will satisfy Henry and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge undamaged from the bloody theatre of Anne's final days.

In Bring Up the Bodies, sequel to the Man Booker Prize–winning Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn. (From HarperCollins Canada)

From the book

His children are falling from the sky. He watches from horseback, acres of England stretching behind him; they drop, gilt-winged, watch with a blood-filled gaze. Grace Cromwell hovers in thin air. She is silent when she takes her prey, silent as she glides to his fist. But the sounds she makes then, the rustle of feathers and the creak, the sigh and riffle of pinion, the small cluck-cluck from her throat, these are sounds of recognition, intimate, daughterly, almost disapproving. Her breast is gore-streaked and flesh clings to her claws.


From Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel ©2012. Published by HarperCollins Canada.

Interviews

Eleanor Wachtel speaks with two-time Man Booker prize winner Hilary Mantel. Her trilogy about the court of Henry VIII and the life of Thomas Cromwell is the story she says she was destined to write. 52:50

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