The Mirror and the Light

The Mirror and the Light

Ben Miles

Hilary Mantel

Pub date
Fourth Estate
B Format 129x198mm
176 pages
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Book Overview

Hilary Mantel and Ben Miles’ exhilarating stage adaptation of The Mirror and the Light, one of 2021’s must-see theatrical events, and the long awaited conclusion to the Oliver Award-winning Wolf Hall Trilogy.

England, May 1536. Anne Boleyn’s fate has been sealed by a hired French executioner. it now befalls Jane Seymour to deliver King Henry VIII the healthy heir he craves. Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith’s son from the gutters of Putney, has knocked down everyone in his path: established at the right hand of the king, he is now the second most powerful man in England. But what will you do, an astute witness asks, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him?

Hilary Mantel’s twice Booker Prize-winning trilogy is the outstanding literary achievement of recent times. Following Oliver and Tony Award-winning productions of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, hailed as a landmark and must-see theatrical event on both sides of the Atlantic, Mantel and Ben Miles have adapted the trilogy’s exhilarating conclusion, The Mirror and the Light, for the stage. It opened in London’s West End in September 2021, directed by Jeremy Herring, co-produced by Playful Productions and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and with Miles returning to the role of Cromwell.

This volume contains the text of the play and an introduction by Hilary Mantel on each of the principal characters – and their fates, offering a unique insight into her trilogy and an invaluable resource to any theatre companies wishing to stage the play.

About the author

Hilary Mantel is the author of fifteen 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.


  • Praise for Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies on stage:
  • ‘A gripping piece of narrative theatre … history made manifest’ Guardian
  • ‘Enthralling … splendidly entertaining and at times deeply touching’ Daily Telegraph
  • ‘Gripping yet darkly funny … a bold, unforgettable lesson in history and politics’ The Times
  • ‘An impressive feat, a compelling drama played out across the canvas of a nation soaked in rain and mud and blood … accessible and consistently engrossing’ Hollywood Reporter
  • ‘A fast-paced political thriller … fiendishly engaging’ Time Out New York