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Reviews by Contributor: Mantel, Hilary (2)

Nothing’s Free

Bring Up the Bodies  (Wolf Hall, volume 2)

By Hilary Mantel  

16 Mar, 2021

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Bring Up the Bodies is the second volume in Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall historical fiction series. 

Anne Boleyn has triumphed. Despite the fact that Henry VIII’s wife Katherine is still alive and that current canon law offers few plausible legal paths to divorce, Anne is now Henry’s queen. Many of the authorities in European Christendom do not admit the legality of the arrangement. Thanks to the hard work of professional sycophants like Thomas Cromwell, and executioners eager to deal with naysayers, England’s do. That’s enough for Anne. 

At least for the moment. 

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Have You Brought Me Hope or Have You Paid My Fee

Wolf Hall  (Thomas Cromwell, volume 1)

By Hilary Mantel  

15 Dec, 2020

Special Requests


2009’s Wolf Hall is the first volume in Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy. 

Thomas Cromwell escaped a brutal childhood and rose by dint of great effort to be the highly educated right-hand man to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, King Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor. It’s a lofty position for such a low-born man and as long as nothing happens to Wolsey, Cromwell’s position is utterly secure.

Vexed at Wolsey’s failure to deliver a divorce, Henry withdraws his favour. Stripped of wealth and position, Wolsey escapes possible execution (Henry likes to accuse people of treason) by dying of natural causes first.

Without his patron, Cromwell’s position is manifestly hopeless.

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