Preorder 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.
‘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, before Jane dies giving birth to the male heir he most craves.
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.
About the author
Hilary Mantel is the author of fourteen 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 two most recent novels, WOLF HALL and its sequel BRING UP THE BODIES, have both been awarded the Man Booker Prize – an unprecedented achievement.
- Praise for Wolf Hall:
- ‘Dizzyingly, dazzlingly good . . . Hugely exciting, packed full of power struggles and political machinations, but also delightfully poetic, vivid in image and phrase. A rich and subtle wonder’ Daily Mail
- ‘Beautifully written and terrifying fiction. She makes that world so concrete you can smell the rain-drenched wool cloaks and feel the sharp fibres of rushes underfoot. It’s a world of marvels’ Daily Telegraph
- ‘As soon as I opened this book I was gripped. I read it almost non-stop. When I did have to put it down, I was full of regret the story was over, a regret I still feel’ The Times
- Praise for Bring Up the Bodies:
- ‘The greatest modern English prose writer writing today’ Peter Stothard, Chairman of the 2012 Man Booker Prize
- ‘In another league. This ongoing story of Henry VIII’s right-hand man is the finest piece of historical fiction I have ever read . . . A staggering achievement’ Sunday Telegraph
- ‘Darkly magnificent . . . the finest work of historical fiction in contemporary literature’ Washington Post