The Mirror and the Light

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4th Estate, 2020 - Courts and courtiers - 912 pages
42 Reviews
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Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2020



The long-awaited sequel to Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, the stunning conclusion to Hilary Mantel's Man Booker Prize-winning Wolf Hall trilogy.



'It is a book not read, but lived' Telegraph

'Her Cromwell novels are, for my money, the greatest English novels of this century' Observer



'If you cannot speak truth at a beheading, when can you speak it?'



England, May 1536. Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner. As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Thomas Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith's son from Putney emerges from the spring's bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, Jane Seymour.



Cromwell is a man with only his wits to rely on; he has no great family to back him, no private army. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry's regime to breaking point, Cromwell's robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. But can a nation, or a person, shed the past like a skin? Do the dead continually unbury themselves? What will you do, the Spanish ambassador asks Cromwell, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him?



With The Mirror and the Light, Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. She traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man's vision: of a modern nation making itself through conflict, passion and courage.



A Guardian Book of the Year * A Times Book of the Year * A Daily Telegraph Book of the Year * A Telegraph Book of the Year * A Sunday Times Book of the Year * A New Statesman Book of the Year * A Spectator Book of the Year

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Castlelass - LibraryThing

Third in Hilary Mantel’s brilliant series on the life of Thomas Cromwell and the court of Henry VIII. This book portrays Cromwell’s slow climb to the height of his powers and his precipitous fall ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Citizenjoyce - LibraryThing

Wow, is this depressing. I could see trump in every action of Henry VIII. This is all he wants out of life, to be as powerful as a king, and I guess we'll see within the next 2 years if people agree with him. Read full review

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About the author (2020)

Hilary Mantel is the author of seventeen books, including A Place of Greater Safety, Beyond Black, the memoir Giving Up the Ghost and the short story collection The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher. Her latest novel, The Mirror & the Light, won the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, while Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies were both awarded the Booker Prize.

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