Is there something I am missing? I thought Wolf Hall was quite good, but I didn’t really see why it was so revolutionary as a work of historical fiction. After all plenty of authors have written great historic fiction before. I also felt that as someone who has read a lot of Tudor history that there was a lot of content I had read about so many times before. Anyway, now Bring Up the Bodies has won the Booker, making Mantel the first British author to have done so twice.
I was planning to read this book once it appeared in a charity shop near me but now it looks like I might have to track it down a bit sooner. I have to admit that this one sounds more exciting with it dealing with the trial and execution of Anne Boleyn, I can’t think that people are be as sympathetic to Cromwell as they were after Wolf Hall (although that was lost on me too, it definitely goes against traditional historiography). So my question is, if you know lots about Henry VIII already, can you still really enjoy these books?
In the interests of balance I include this video summarising why Mantel should have won (it didn’t persuade me – would Cromwell really have said, “I was always in the money. I always got the girl”, is he some 21st century gigalo?) and a link to an interview with Mantel herself.