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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?
Bring Up the Bodies is the winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize
Bring Up the Bodies is one of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Best Books of 2012 and one of The Washington Post's 10 Best Books of 2012
Amazon Exclusive: Hilary Mantel on How She Wrote Bring Up the Bodies
Origins of the Book
Bring Up the Bodies is the second part of my trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, chief minister to Henry VIII. I have been interested in Cromwell for years, and wanted to get beyond the negative portrayal of him in popular history and fiction. He was a ruthless man, certainly, but no more so than other contemporary politicians; and in Henry, a man of violent temper, he had a very demanding employer. As soon as you get back beyond the prejudices about Cromwell, you find a clever, enterprising, resilient and optimistic man, with a story well worth telling. He was at the center of Henry's court for almost ten years, and when you look at events from his point of view, they seem very different from the stories of the Tudor court to which we've grown accustomed.
Originally I thought I would tell the story in just one book. But as I made progress with Wolf Hall, I discovered the richness and depth of the material. I was glad to alter my plans. Now the project will reach a conclusion in The Mirror & The Light, the book that is still ahead of me.
How is it different from Wolf Hall?
Wolf Hall takes in a huge span of time, describing Cromwell's early life, and reaching back into the previous century, to show the forces that shaped England before he was born. The foreground action of the book occupies several years, ending in July 1535, on the day of the execution of Cromwell's political antagonist, Thomas More.
The action of Bring Up The Bodies occupies only nine months, and within that nine months it concentrates on the three weeks in which Henry's second wife, Anne Boleyn, is arrested, tried and executed for treason. So it is a shorter, more concentrated read. There are no diversions once the plot against Anne begins to accelerate, and the tension builds as her death approaches.
It's quite possible to read Bring Up The Bodies without reading Wolf Hall. It makes sense in its own terms. But I think a reader will get a deeper experience by starting with the first book and seeing the characters evolve.
Space: What's on your desk, in your office, on the walls, outside your window? Describe your writing space. Where do you go when you can't write there?
My office is in my apartment on the East Devon coast. Before my desk there is a big window, and beyond that a shingle beach and the sea. On my large pine desk there's just my laptop, my working papers, and my diary, plus a silver dial that tells the time in the world's major cities. I have a mouse mat with the Holbein image of Thomas Cromwell on it; my husband magicked this up from somewhere. I keep my pens and markers in a china pot with a picture of Henry VIII, which came from the National Portrait Gallery in London. On my left there is a whiteboard which I use to plan each chapter as I write, and also to scribble down any fleeting thoughts; if I'm elsewhere in the apartment it's the whiteboard I run to, to catch a phrase I'm afraid might slip away. I can write anywhere, though; I long ago learned to write and polish a paragraph in my head. And I do a lot of work in my notebooks when I'm travelling, shuttling up to London on the train. I write in the car too; in the passenger seat, I should add.
Soundtrack: What/who do you listen to? Why? How? (headphones, computer, radio?)
I can hear the sea. Nothing else is as good as that. Noise doesn't distract me, necessarily, but if I put on music I quickly blank it out.
Tools: Pens? Notebook? Computer (Mac or PC)? Special software?
Most of my work originates in longhand. I like writing by hand but I have 2 sorts of handwriting; one is quite decorative, and the other is as plain as possible and as legible as possible, my note-taking hand which I use when I copy from a document. At a certain stage I rip up my notebooks and shuffle the pages into some sort of order in ring-binders; from those I work straight on to my pc. I’ve been writing on the screen since 1986, at which point I was into my third book. But I'm old enough to remember the toil in the days of typewriters and messy, smudgy carbon copies.
Words: What are you reading? Do you read anyone to prime the pump, so to speak? Or to escape your own writing?
On the whole I prefer not to read fiction when I'm hard at work on my own writing, because I find it difficult to make the commitment a novel requires, to enter into someone els's imaginary world. Instead I devour newspapers and read books on medicine, psychology, social studies. But much of my reading is tied to research for my Cromwell novels. If I get stuck while I'm writing, if my sentences feel arid, then reading poetry sometimes works. It restores some essential sense of rhythm.
Inspiration: Do you do anything to get inspired? Exercise? Walk? Nap? Hobbies?
Two almost infallible methods for me. If I'm stuck part way through developing a scene, I get into the shower. When you are dripping water, that's when the words start to flow: at the moment of maximum inconvenience. For bigger problems, going to sleep is good. Fresh material swims up as I wake.
If everything is out of proportion, if I'm overwhelmed and mentally tired, a walk by the sea helps. I've always wanted to live by the sea and thought it would be good for me, and the last year's work on Bring Up The Bodies seems to have proved it. This time last year, the book was just a few boxes of notes.
Photo credit: Francesco Guidicini
Titolo: Bring Up the Bodies
Casa editrice: HarperCollins Publishers
Data di pubblicazione: 2012
Condizione libro: very good
Descrizione libro Fourth Estate, London, 2012. Hardback. Condizione libro: Fine. No Jacket. First Edition. Fourth Estate, 2012. Hardback without dustwrapper as issued. New and unread. First Edition and one of 2,000 copies issued as a Signed Limited Edition. A mint copy in unopened publisher's cellophane. First edition, first impression. Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2012. As an enthusiastic collector myself I make every effort to provide a high level of service. Enquiries welcomed. Signed by Author. Codice libro della libreria 004022
Descrizione libro Fourth Estate, 2012. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Fine. No Jacket. 1st Edition. 1st edition, 1st printing hardback signed limited edition hardback, no jacket as issued. Signed by author with no other inscriptions. Book in fine condition, as new. Not a book club edition, ex library or a remainder. Scans available on request. Heavy book so extra postage may apply. Signed by Author(s). Codice libro della libreria 009232
Descrizione libro Fourth Estate, London, 2012. Hardback. Condizione libro: Fine. No Jacket. First Edition. Fourth Estate, 2012. Hardback without dustwrapper as issued. New and unread. First Edition and one of 2,000 copies issued as a Signed Limited Edition. A mint copy in unopened publisher's cellophane. First edition, first impression. Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2012. As an enthusiastic collector myself I make every effort to provide a high level of service. Enquiries welcomed. Signed by Author. Codice libro della libreria 004023
Descrizione libro London Fourth Estate 2012, 2012. Condizione libro: As New. LIMITED EDITION of the First Edition. One of 2,000 copies SIGNED by the author. Publisher's black cloth, quarter red cloth with gilt lettering to spine and gilt eagle (?) motif to front cover. Red silk page marker. Octavo. A book in Fine condition. Still in shrink wrap. Codice libro della libreria 102037
Descrizione libro Fourth Estate, London, 2012. Hard Cover. Condizione libro: As New. First Edition. Limited edition of 2000. First edition, first impression. SIGNED by Hilary Mantel to the title page. Hardback. Book is as new. Published without a dust jacket. Still sealed in publisher's cellophane. *All books securely packaged with bubble wrap and cardboard box*. Signed by Author. Codice libro della libreria 004943
Descrizione libro HarperCollins Publishers, 2012. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Used: Good. First Edition. Codice libro della libreria SONG000748559X
Descrizione libro Fourth Estate, 2012. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Fine. Limited Edition. One of a special limited edition of 2000 signed, clothbound copies of the 2012 Booker Prize winner, produced by Fourth Estate in the year of publication. Signed by Hilary Mantel. An 'As New' book, still in the publisher's shrink-wrap. Issued without a jacket. A very handsome production and a superb item for collectors. All orders are sent very carefully wrapped in bubble wrap and sturdy cardboard. Signed by Author(s). Codice libro della libreria 526
Descrizione libro Fourth Estate, London, 2012. Hard Cover. Condizione libro: As New. Signed Limited. A fine unread Signed Limited edition spine bound in red cloth with black & gold boards. Signed by the Author on the title page. Still in shrinkwrap. An archival 100 micron clear film dustwrapper will accompany the book. Booker Winner 2012. Signed by Author. Codice libro della libreria 006018
Descrizione libro Fourth Estate, London, 2012. Hardcover. Condizione libro: As New. 1st Edition. A superb, "as new" UK first edition, first printing hardback - no dustjacket (as issued) - All my books are always securely packed with plenty of bubblewrap in professional boxes and promptly dispatched (within 2-3 days) - My boy Thomas, give him a dirty look and he¿ll gouge your eye out. Trip him, and he¿ll cut off your leg,¿ says Walter Cromwell in the year 1500. "But if you don¿t cut across him he¿s a very gentleman. And he¿ll stand anyone a drink" - By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith¿s son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry¿s second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. But Henry¿s actions have forced England into dangerous isolation, and Anne has failed to do what she promised: bear a son to secure the Tudor line. When Henry visits Wolf Hall, Cromwell watches as Henry falls in love with the silent, plain Jane Seymour. The minister sees what is at stake: not just the king¿s pleasure, but the safety of the nation. As he eases a way through the sexual politics of the court, its miasma of gossip, he must negotiate a ¿truth¿ that will satisfy Henry and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge undamaged from the bloody theatre of Anne¿s final days. In "Bring up the Bodies", sequel to the Man Booker Prize-winning "Wolf Hall", Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn. This new novel is a speaking picture, an audacious vision of Tudor England that sheds its light on the modern world. It is the work of one of our great writers at the height of her powers - SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR - Pictures available upon request. Signed by Author(s). Codice libro della libreria 001201
Descrizione libro Fourth Estate London, 2012. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Limited Edition... SEALED LIMITED EDITION SIGNED, as released by the publisher. This clothbound special limited edition has been sealed with the author's signature. Obviously it is unread and perfect. Language: eng Language: eng 0.0 Language: eng 0.0 Language: eng 0.0. Signed by Author(s). Codice libro della libreria ABE-10091883524