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Ratings and Reviews (4 35 star ratings
4 reviews
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Overall rating

4.3 out of 5
35
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies

    Absolutely enthralling. Did not see the TV series and I am sorry to have missed it. The books were addictive. If you are interested in history at all, these novels are for you. Can't wait to read the fnal book in the trilogy. Wonderful bed time reading.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Wolf

    Gave up trying to read this after a third of the way through. Only know one person that liked it and many have tried because of its undeserved fame. Give it a rest,useful only as a bookend because of its size.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    I turned down the chance of a review copy of Wolf Hall when Hilary Mantel came to talk to us would-be writers at my university. Duh! This year I bought my copy and I really could not put it down. I HAD to get Bring Up the Bodies quickly so that there was no gap, no sense of withdrawal after finishing the first novel. Henry the Eighth's reign is a much examined and written about period of British history but Mantel brings us to it from a fresh perspective. Thomas Cromwell is both insider and outsider at Henry's court. He is the go-to man for king, queen and courtiers alike but, because of his common origins, he is reviled by much of the aristocracy. This doesn't stop his rise to power and it doesn't stop him from settling scores with those who have insulted him when the chance arises. We watch the events of Henry's love-life, the rise and fall of Thomas More, Anne Boleyn and others through Cromwell's eyes and we grow to like him. But, I remember my history lessons and I seem to remember that Cromwell was the architect of many people's downfall. Just when I'm beginning to wonder if history got it wrong, Mantell filters in, very subtly, the harder, darker, even venal side of his nature. Transport one of Henry's crowd to the twenty-first century and they would be as an alien here but thanks to these two novels I feel I understand how life was back in the sixteenth century. I mean really. The detail, the conversations, the way of life are vividly but sparingly described. When I finally put the book down I had an urge to wash my hands clean of the every day dirt of the fifteen hundreds and the stickier, nastier dirt of royal intrigue. Even if you're not a fan of historical fiction, I recommend these books. You will never find a better portrayal of human folly.
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    Flawless

    I had the novels in hardcover when they first came out, reread them as ebooks. Mantel brings the history to vivid life without sacrificing veracity. The perspective of Cromwell is reflected in how fabrics are viewed, the words are as certain as the ring of coins against a table. I cannot recommend these works highly enough or often enough.
35

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