Bring Up the Bodies (Wolf Hall, Book 2)
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WINNER OF THE 2012 MAN BOOKER PRIZE
The sequel to Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Bring Up the Bodies 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?
Bring Up the Bodies is one of The New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2012, one of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Best Books of 2012 and one of The Washington Post's 10 Best Books of 2012
were pies on sale,’ says the jester Anthony. ‘And I, sir? I hear that your new comedy was very well-received. And everybody laughed except the dying.’ Gregory says, ‘But there could still be reprieves?’ ‘Undoubtedly.’ He does not feel like adding anything. Someone has given him a drink of ale; he wipes his mouth. ‘I remember when we were at Wolf Hall,’ Gregory says, ‘and Weston spoke so boldly to you, and so me and Rafe, we caught him in our magic net and dropped him from a height. But we
fat-bellied clouds bob after the royal party as they dawdle through Hampshire, the roads turning within days from dust to mud. Henry is reluctant to hurry back to business; I wish it were always August, he says. They are en route to Farnham, a small hunting party, when a report is galloped along the road: cases of plague have appeared in the town. Henry, brave on the battlefield, pales almost before their eyes and wrenches around his horse’s head: where to? Anywhere will do, anywhere but Farnham.
Putney, a shearsman too, a man with a finger in every pie, a scrapper and brawler, a drunk and a bully, a man often hauled before the justices for punching someone, for cheating someone. How the son of such a man has achieved his present eminence is a question all Europe asks. Some say he came up with the Boleyns, the queen’s family. Some say it was wholly through the late Cardinal Wolsey, his patron; Cromwell was in his confidence and made money for him and knew his secrets. Others say he haunts
she draws her last breath, the sombre forms of her keepers close in. They are reluctant to disturb the aged chaplain, and the old women shuffling from her bedside. Before they have washed her, Bedingfield has put his fastest rider on the road. 8 January: the news arrives at court. It filters out from the king’s rooms then runs riot up staircases to the rooms where the queen’s maids are dressing, and through the cubby holes where kitchen boys huddle to doze, and along lanes and passages through
come and join us.’ ‘Like Achilles among the women,’ the king says. ‘You must shave your fine beard, Seymour, and go and find out their lewd little secrets.’ He is laughing, but he is not happy. ‘Unless we find someone more maidenly for the task. Gregory, you are a pretty fellow, but I fear your great hands will give you away.’ ‘The blacksmith’s grandson,’ Weston says. ‘That child Mark,’ the king says. ‘The musician, you know him? There is a smooth girlish countenance.’ ‘Oh,’ Jane says,