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Bring Up the Bodies Hilary Mantel
It is about a year later. Anne Boleyn is Queen, she has borne a daughter and there is pressure on her to give King Henry a son. That she fails to do is the crime that leads to her downfall. Not too different from today’s times, you would think. The second instalment of Mantel’s trilogy of the life and times of Thomas Cromwell is not as shockingly fresh to our eyes as the first one, in terms of the setting and Mantel’s writing style. But it is far more terrifying. It chronicles a year in which Anne goes from being the smart woman who toppled a Queen to take her place, to a helpless woman tossed about by the vagaries of an all-powerful King. Thomas Cromwell, who’s story this is after all, remains the fascinating character he was in the first book, out to reform the Church, in the process amassing wealth for himself and his King, still unforgiving of the people who brought down his Cardinal Wolsey and still the right hand man of the King. And when the King …