I think that I have proclaimed my deep love for HilaryMantel loudly enough and often enough to qualify me as her a stalker. So I was all prepared to adore her new novel Bring Up The Bodies and guess what? I did! ~~Sigh~~ Happiness complete.
So…first there was the superb, award winning Wolf Hall. Has everyone heard of this? Good. Has everyone read this? If not go do so we’ll be here still heaping accolades on Ms Mantel when you get back. If the rest of you have had the great good sense to read Wolf Hall we’ll move on.
In Bring Up The Bodies Thomas Cromwell is older, more seasoned and more pressured than ever. Marriage number two for his liege Henry is not working out. Queen Anne’s personality and son-less womb are not winning her any support at court and is alienating Henry. Henry’s eye is roving. He’s sees greener grass and it will fall to Cromwell to make it all happen. You knew that much before you got to page one but of course it’s the telling that makes Bring Up The Bodies so absolutely divine.
Hilary Mantel somehow produces magical writing with the same ease that it takes the rest of us to open a can of tuna. Writing that all at once makes familiar facts suspenseful, creates humanity and understanding in the traditional bad guys of history and builds ambience and setting with brief, well placed descriptions of an object or a smell or the cut of a dress. At the same time Mantel is inside of Cromwell along with all the dead friends, family and foes he cannot shake loose of writing through him.
The amazing marriage of Hilary Mantel and Thomas Cromwell has already produced two magnificent novels: Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies. The final book in this trilogy is in the works and it cannot arrive fast enough for me.
P.S. You could absolutely read and adore Bring Up The Bodies without having read Wolf Hall? Yes, but why would you want to?