Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell Trilogy Book 2)
He rose very high in Henry's court. He had absolute power - second only to Henry himself. It is awe inspiring to think just how powerful he became. I simply cannot wait until the next book in the series is printed!! Please hurry, Ms. Vertaal recensie in het Nederlands. By now, Thomas Cromwell has become one of the most powerful counselors to King Henry, and yet it is also more evident than ever that his hold to power is precarious.
Mantel continues to impress with her in-depth research of the period and ability to humanize her characters.
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Was he really such a good family man? But she does it so well and entirely believable, that whether this is the true Thomas Cromwell or not is almost beside the point. Fascinating take on how Thomas Cromwell managed to get rid of so many people who had offended him one fell swoop, and false charges were laid against innocent Queen Anne, her friends and her brother George in such a blatantly devious diabolical manner.
King Henry was a deliberately willful idiot. He wanted a son and so was willing to kill his Queen with any excuse.
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She didn't sleep with him for 7 years - she held out for a crown and marriage. Yet he's so stupid he thinks her character is going to change and she is going to have casual sex with 3 of the courtiers when it benefits her nothing to do so? A very very good book. So sad that she was set up like this.
Her revenge from the grave is that her daughter Elizabeth is the greatest Queen England has even known. Hilary Mantel is a brilliant writer. Just brilliant. And this is a fascinating story. I had no idea what a clever, diabolical, ingenious, and manipulative person Thomas Cromwell was. He is a man around whom you want to be careful what you say.
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He can and will use it against you--if it suits his purposes. And since he's right-hand man to King Henry VIII no slouch at plotting himself , it will sooner or later suit his purposes.
He is cold, cunning, intelligent, mysterious, and at times, darkly funny. Yes, the book has humor--but you have to pay attention.
Having watched "Wolf Hall" with the inimitable Mark Rylant, I could picture no one else in the role, and Rylant's slim, barely noticeable smile haunted me all through the book. Anne Boleyn, as portrayed by Mantel, is not a particularly sympathetic character, so it's difficult to feel sorry for her. On the other hand, where would she get compassion? She is envied by nearly every woman in the land, constantly berated by royalty and subjects alike, and deserted by everyone close to her, including her own family.
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She sees life as a fight for survival, and sadly, she turns out to be right. Apparently it is good to be king because Henry has everything on his side, including Cromwell. He's a person you'd want rooting for you too--right up until the moment he turns on you. This is a rich accounting, filled with history and details galore. Mantel brings Elizabethan England to life, from clothing and food to transportation, architecture, politics, religion, superstition, government, everyday life--and torture. It's a robust, unflinching novel filled with fascinating characters.
But as intriguing as Henry is, he cannot hold a candle to Cromwell. I read--and loved--Wolf Hall. This is even better. I'm hoping for a sequel.
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