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The Mirror and the Light (The Wolf Hall Trilogy, Book 3)

The Mirror and the Light (The Wolf Hall Trilogy, Book 3)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.

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.

Wolf Hall & Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel
A sure-fire way to judge a play is to ask two questions: Is this enjoyable? How quickly does time pass? On both counts, these productions pass with flying colours. Hugely entertaining and utterly engrossing – the six hours was over all too soon. Teddington Theatre Club have put together an outstanding version of Hilary Mantel’s novels Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring Up the Bodies (2012). Read the review by John O’Brien

A masterpiece’ Guardian
It is a book not read, but lived’ Telegraph
Her Cromwell novels are, for my money, the greatest English novels of this century’ Observer

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