Fourth Estate, £9.99
Bring Up the Bodies, By Hilary Mantel
Boyd Tonkin is Senior Writer and a columnist at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Literary Editor at The Independent, and before that Social Policy Editor and then Books Editor at the New Statesman magazine. He has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes and has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize. In 2001, he re-founded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for literature in translation, and serves on its judging panel every year.
Friday 03 May 2013
In place of the smithy-to-court social ascent in Wolf Hall, the middle passage of Mantel's Thomas Cromwell trilogy delivers top-level, close-focus state crisis.
In 1535-36, the subtle, sympathetic minister, still a man of lethally persuasive words, sparks a palace revolution. He harnesses Henry's infatuation for Jane Seymour as a vehicle to crush Anne Boleyn and her proud clan.
New readers might even choose to start here, at the storm's eye, as Mantel's crackling, compact, muscular prose fuels a plot of intrigue, betrayal and revenge.
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