Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2013.
Winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2012.
With her dazzling, utterly absorbing style of writing Bring Up the Bodies focuses on the downfall and destruction of the charismatic Anne Boleyn. This is the sequel to the 2009 Man Booker-winning Wolf Hall the second in what will be a Tudor trilogy. The final book will be called The Mirror & the Light, and will continue Thomas Cromwell's story until his execution in 1540.
Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2012.
Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2012.
Winner of the Specsavers National Book Awards 'UK Author of the Year' 2012.
May 2012 MEGA Book of the Month.
Sir Peter Stothard, Chair of Man Booker Prize 2012 judging panel, on Bring Up the
‘This double accolade is uniquely deserved. Hilary Mantel has rewritten the rules for historical fiction. In Bring up the Bodies, our greatest modern writer retells the origins of modern England.’'
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts at the Hay Festival on 2 June 2012.
Comparison: Rachel Cusk, Julie Myerson, A M Homes
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Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
'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.
‘This is a great novel of dark and dirty passions, public and private. It is also an exploration of what still shocks us.. A truly great story, it rolls on.’ James Naughtie, FT
‘Bring Up The Bodies succeeds brilliantly in every particle of this: it’s an imaginative achievement to exhaust superlatives.’ The Spectator
‘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.’ Frances Wilson, Observer
‘This story is a masterpiece of elegance and entertainment’ Marie Claire
‘Don’t think you can start this book whenever you feel like it – plan ahead, as, once started, it’s impossible to escape its grip, and until it’s finished, you won’t get any sleep’. Country Life
‘Like much historical fiction, the pages of this novel are full of lust and splendid outfits. But Ms Mantel achieves much more than that. Her characters and vivid people who bring to life the clash of ideals that gripped England at the time. She makes the past present and vital’. The Economist
‘There is no sense in which Bring Up the Bodies is a simple follow-up or continuation of Wolf Hall. More then most, Mantel is a committed revolutionary novelist’ TLS
‘that rare, clever beast: a book to charm critics and enthral readers’ Sport Magazine
‘this volume promises still more page-turning moments’ ES Magazine
‘Great novel – worthy companion to Wolf Hall.. Hurry up with the third novel Hilary’ Daily Express
‘This close-up account of the fall of Anne Boleyn does what a historical novel is meant to do: it makes intelligent surmises about what might have happened’ Evening Standard
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About the Author
Hilary Mantel is the first woman and the first British author to win the Man Booker prize twice and the first author ever to win the Man Booker Prize and Costa Book Award in the same year. At 60, she is only the third double winner alongside J.M. Coetzee and Peter Carey. She is also the first person to win the prize for two novels in a trilogy, following her success in 2009 with Wolf Hall.
Hilary Mantel was born in northern Derbyshire in 1952. She was educated at a convent school in Cheshire and went on to the LSE and Sheffield University, where she studied law. After university she was briefly a social worker in a geriatric hospital, and much later used her experiences in her novels Every Day is Mother's Day and Vacant Possession. In 1977 she went to live in Botswana with her husband, then a geologist. In 1982 they moved on to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, where she would set her third novel, Eight Months on Ghazzah Street.
Her first novel was published in 1985, and she returned to the UK the following year. In 1987 she was awarded the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for travel writing, and became the film critic of the Spectator. Her fourth novel, Fludd, was awarded the Cheltenham Festival Prize, the Southern Arts Literature Prize, and the Winifred Holtby Prize. Her fifth novel, A Place of Greater Safety, won the Sunday Express Book of the Year Award.
A Change of Climate, published in 1993, is the story of an East Anglian family, former missionaries, torn apart by conflicts generated in Southern Africa in the early years of Apartheid. An Experiment in Love published in 1995, is a story about childhood and university life, set in London in 1970. It was awarded the Hawthornden Prize.
Photograph © Jane Bown
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