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Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
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Bring Up the Bodies (2012)

by Hilary Mantel

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Wolf Hall Trilogy (2)

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4,4892801,536 (4.33)3 / 782
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English (284)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (289)
Showing 1-5 of 284 (next | show all)
First, I have to admit that I did not understand where the title came from until nearly the end of the book, when the phrase was used to instruct the gaolers to bring the accused to their trial. It almost sounds as if they were sentenced before they were tried - thought of as bodies rather than people.

I really liked this book, although I don't think the pace was quite as fast as Wolf Hall, which I liked slightly better. I love the writing. It is so evocative of the time. I continue to be amazed at Hilary Mantel's ability to take me to the England of Cromwell and keep me there. I totally agree with her portrayal of Henry VIII. I don't like him, I never have, and it's nice to read an author who is not an apologist for him. The sense of danger to everyone at court and even to the country is real as Anne Boleyn slinks toward her own destruction. The way Mantel sets up slight questions and uncertainty around the accusations and betrayals of the men accused of committing adultery with Anne is masterful, and even Anne's culpability is left in question in the end. I admit to being worried about Cromwell. I know the end of the story, but I keep trying to think of ways to stop it.
  nittnut | Aug 30, 2018 |
Sequel to Wolf Hall. Much easier to read with clearer indications of speakers. I did not need to reference the chart of characters quite as often as I did with Wolf Hall! The time period for this novel is much shorter - the King tires of Anne Boleyn and we follow the efforts to do away with her - to her beheading. Cannot wait for the third book! ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
The second book in Hilary Mantel’s amazing series on the life of Thomas Cromwell. I seem to have an unlimited capacity for viewing the Anne Boleyn story from different points of view. I know the details already, so you might think it would be boring, but it is anything but. I can never help trembling just a little when Anne is beheaded, and wondering, as we all must, what her state of mind must have been to go from queen to discard so quickly.

This book has the more sensational part of Henry the Eighth’s story, but I will confess that I thought the first book had the better part of Thomas Cromwell’s. Even knowing all the historical details and knowing the part Cromwell played in it, Cromwell always seemed like a background figure to me. I’m not sure I even thought about what he must have been feeling or what kind of man he was before I encountered this series. Having read these two books, there is another historical figure who has come to life for me.

I look forward to the third volume of this series. I want to know what happened to Cromwell, his family and associates after the death of Anne Boleyn. I do not know when it is due out, but it is high on my list of books to buy.
( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
This is the unprecedented Booker prize winning sequel to the Booker Prize winning Wolf Hall. It continues the story of Thomas Cromwell.

Cromwell was born to a family of commoners. As the son of an abusive father, he was thrown out to make his way in the world, and he did so admirably. Eventually he became the First Secretary to King Henry VIII, where Cromwell was arguably, the most powerful man in the realm.

This follows the middle portion of Cromwell's career at court. Through Cromwell's work, Katherine of Aragon's marriage to Henry was annulled on a technicality so the king could marry Anne Boleyn, already carrying the King's child. But Henry soon lost interest in Anne and again relied on Cromwell to remove her so he could marry his current obsession, Jane Seymour.

It's a story of power and intrigue: a king who believed he was above morality and decency, above all men, above God and the church. Thomas Cromwell was the tool that made the King's whims happen. But each time a wife was set aside, powerful families were destroyed and powerful enemies created.

I found reading the print version of Wolf Hall a bit daunting. I **loved** this audio version of Bring Up the Bodies read by Simon Vance. I'm now looking forward to the third and final installment, which I'm hoping will be published soon. I will definitely choose the audio edition. ( )
  streamsong | May 21, 2018 |
DNF -
Well, I can't say I wasn't warned. I thought this would be an interesting read, based on a Fresh Air interview with the author. It may be, but I just can't get past the style of the writing to settle into it.

The sample chapters were enough to convince me that this just isn't for me, and I refuse to fight my way through books anymore.
  Yaaresse | Apr 24, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 284 (next | show all)
Here, as elsewhere, Mantel’s real triumph is her narrative language. It’s not the musty Olde English of so much historical fiction, but neither is it quite contemporary. The Latinate “exsanguinates” is a perfect 16th-century touch, and so is that final, Anglo-Saxon “gore.” In some of her books, Mantel is pretty scabrous in her descriptions of present-day England, its tawdriness and cheesiness and weakness for cliché and prettifying euphemism. “Bring Up the Bodies” (the title refers to the four men executed for supposedly sleeping with Anne) isn’t nostalgic, exactly, but it’s astringent and purifying, stripping away the cobwebs and varnish of history, the antique formulations and brocaded sentimentality of costume-­drama novels, so that the English past comes to seem like something vivid, strange and brand new.
 
Geen gehijg tussen de lakens in Bring up the bodies (Het boek Henry), geen hete kussen bij maanlicht. Toch is Hilary Mantels versie van de perikelen van de Tudors de meest opwindende ooit.
 
Is Bring Up the Bodies better than, worse than or equal to Wolf Hall? While lacking, necessarily, the shocking freshness of the first book, it is narrower, tighter, at times a more brilliant and terrifying novel. Of her historical interpretations, Mantel says in her afterword that she is "making the reader a proposal, an offer", but what is striking is how little concerned she is with the reader. Her prose makes no concessions to the disorientated: a moment's distraction and you have to start the page again. Mantel, like Cromwell, seems not to mind if we are there or not: she is writing, as he was living, for herself alone.
 
"Mantel knows what to select, how to make her scenes vivid, how to kindle her characters."
added by bookfitz | editThe New Yorker, James Wood (May 7, 2012)
 
We read historical fiction for the same reason we keep watching Hamlet: it's not what, it's how. And although we know the plot, the characters themselves do not. Mantel leaves Cromwell at a moment that would appear secure: four of his ill-wishing enemies, in addition to Anne, have just been beheaded, and many more have been neutralised. England will have peace, though it's "the peace of the hen coop when the fox has run home". But really Cromwell is balancing on a tightrope, with his enemies gathering and muttering offstage. The book ends as it begins, with an image of blood-soaked feathers.

But its end is not an end. "There are no endings," says Mantel. "If you think so you are deceived as to their nature. They are all beginnings. This is one." Which will lead us to the final instalment, and to the next batch of Henry's wives and Cromwell's machinations. How much intricate spadework will it take to "dig out" Cromwell, that "sleek, plump, and densely inaccessible" enigma? Reader, wait and see.
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hilary Mantelprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pracher, RickCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willems, IneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
'Am I not like other men? Am I not? Am I not?'

Henry VIII to Eustache Chapuys, Imperial ambassador
Dedication
Once again to Mary Robertson; after my right hearty commendacions, and with spede.
First words
His children are falling from the sky.
Quotations
What is the nature of the border between truth and lies?...Truth can break the gates down, truth can howl in the street; unless truth is pleasing, personable and easy to like, she is condemned to stay whimpering at the back door.
[The Italians] say the road between England and Hell is worn bare from treading feet, and runs downhill all the way.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
"The sequel to Hilary Mantel’s 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Wolf Hall delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne’s head?"-- Provided by publisher.

"Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne’s head?"-- Provided by publisher.
[retrieved from loc.gov (Library of Congress)]
Haiku summary
Anne Boleyn's pride comes
before her fall. By the end
she's a head shorter.
(passion4reading)

No descriptions found.

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"The sequel to Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Wolf Hall delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne's head?"-- "Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne's head?"--… (more)

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