Bring up the bodies
The order goes to the Tower, “Bring up the bodies”.
Here we have the adventures of Thomas Cromwell, Hand to the King, part 2. Whatever you loved (or hated) about Wolf Hall you’ll surely find in Bring up the bodies, as Ms. Mantel continues to explore the influence Thomas Cromwell had in Henry VIII’s court and his involvement in Anne Boleyn’s decapitation and thus Henry’s 3rd marriage – with Jane Seymour. Cromwell, pictured as a sympathetic character in the 1st book (intelligent, cunning, subtle, wise and loyal to his own) now has a more obvious harder edge – when Henry decides that Anne will no longer do for him, he seizes the opportunity to score some personal vendettas. After all, they needed guilty men; guilty of what is a whole other issue. The lambs have been butchered and eaten themselves. They have brought knives to the table, carved themselves and picket their own bones clean – is the only justification he can offer to his choice of condemned parties.
Everyone and their cousin wrote about this book it seems – so I really doubt there is anything left to say. You can google reviews; the book is on the longlist for the Booker & I personally loved it. Maybe less than Wolf Hall, but only because I now knew what to expect and its rhythm was a bit too familiar. I’d like to write a proper review and do it a little justice, but writing feels like a reflex I’m losing more and more with each passing day. All my hopes of getting back to normal are hanging on the magical month of September🙂