Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel won the Booker Prize for this book and its prequel Wolf Hall, one cannot imagine two such readable, page turners ever having won these awards before.
Bring Up The Bodies is the story of Henry Tudor`s close allie Thomas Cromwell whose story starts to unfold in Wolf Hall, all are linked to the demise of Katherine, Henry`s first wife and the rise of his second Anne Boleyn and her eventual fall from grace and favour; Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More and everyone whom you ever heard of in relation to Henry VIII and his Court from Hell has a starring role in this book even if it is a little dimmer than their role in Wolf Hall, many are in fact dead so it is their ghostly memories that haunt these pages!
This book is history served up on a most appealing if blood thirsty plate, it is gripping, it twists, it turns, it takes you this way, then that and fairly dazzles with its ability to keep you wanting to know more, see what happens next and whose body will tumble.... It is simply a page turner without a dull moment, steeped in the very history that takes tourists by the thousand to the Tower of London.
Mantel herself says that her books are not necessary minutely accurate but she has by her own acknowledgment used the works of those who are to fill out her writing, she has dropped characters as she sees fit and has added in others when she thinks that their voice would bring relevancy and a bit of dazzle or gloom, her retelling may vary with the ever changing history of her characters as deciphered by never ending historians but they would be hard pressed to beat Mantel when it comes to painting a portrait that brings alive for a whole new generation events that occurred so long ago.
At just over 400 pages, it is quite the read but it is worth every moment especially if you have even the slightest interest in those blood thirsty Tudors, this book is a pleasure, a delight even if it is a bit more blood soaked than my usual reads, grab a copy! Best to read Wolf Hall first.....

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