Friday, 22 February 2013

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

The sequel to 'Wolf Hall' and a bit of a publishing sensation in the UK in last couple of years. All things Tudor have become of much wider interest as a result.

It is a little less good than Wolf Hall because, perhaps, the novelty of feeling so close to the mind of Thomas Cromwell has worn off. There is also a lot more court politics to cram in and, because you know what is going to happen (Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII's second wife, is going to get her head chopped off), there is a feeling that certain scenes have to be got out of the way in order to meet the narrative zenith, if that is what it should be called.

But that is a cavil, really. The characters are vivid and the technicalities of getting stuff done in that era are very well described. And Cromwell has become a brilliant character in his own right. A film must be in train somewhere - who will play Cromwell?

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