Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $28.00
  • Save: $12.00 (43%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Bring Up the Bodies has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it is still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Bring Up the Bodies Hardcover – May 8, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,507 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Wolf Hall Series

See all 36 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$4.39 $0.01

Featured Picks in Historical Fiction
The Invitation
The Invitation
The Invitation
$16.00 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Bring Up the Bodies
  • +
  • Wolf Hall
  • +
  • Masterpiece: Wolf Hall
Total price: $57.75
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Exclusive: Hilary Mantel on How She Wrote Bring Up the Bodies

Origins of the Book

Bring Up the Bodies is the second part of my trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, chief minister to Henry VIII. I have been interested in Cromwell for years, and wanted to get beyond the negative portrayal of him in popular history and fiction. He was a ruthless man, certainly, but no more so than other contemporary politicians; and in Henry, a man of violent temper, he had a very demanding employer. As soon as you get back beyond the prejudices about Cromwell, you find a clever, enterprising, resilient and optimistic man, with a story well worth telling. He was at the center of Henry's court for almost ten years, and when you look at events from his point of view, they seem very different from the stories of the Tudor court to which we've grown accustomed.

Originally I thought I would tell the story in just one book. But as I made progress with Wolf Hall, I discovered the richness and depth of the material. I was glad to alter my plans. Now the project will reach a conclusion in The Mirror & The Light, the book that is still ahead of me.

How is it different from Wolf Hall?

Wolf Hall takes in a huge span of time, describing Cromwell's early life, and reaching back into the previous century, to show the forces that shaped England before he was born. The foreground action of the book occupies several years, ending in July 1535, on the day of the execution of Cromwell's political antagonist, Thomas More.

The action of Bring Up The Bodies occupies only nine months, and within that nine months it concentrates on the three weeks in which Henry's second wife, Anne Boleyn, is arrested, tried and executed for treason. So it is a shorter, more concentrated read. There are no diversions once the plot against Anne begins to accelerate, and the tension builds as her death approaches.

It's quite possible to read Bring Up The Bodies without reading Wolf Hall. It makes sense in its own terms. But I think a reader will get a deeper experience by starting with the first book and seeing the characters evolve.

Space: What's on your desk, in your office, on the walls, outside your window? Describe your writing space. Where do you go when you can't write there?

My office is in my apartment on the East Devon coast. Before my desk there is a big window, and beyond that a shingle beach and the sea. On my large pine desk there's just my laptop, my working papers, and my diary, plus a silver dial that tells the time in the world's major cities. I have a mouse mat with the Holbein image of Thomas Cromwell on it; my husband magicked this up from somewhere. I keep my pens and markers in a china pot with a picture of Henry VIII, which came from the National Portrait Gallery in London. On my left there is a whiteboard which I use to plan each chapter as I write, and also to scribble down any fleeting thoughts; if I'm elsewhere in the apartment it's the whiteboard I run to, to catch a phrase I'm afraid might slip away. I can write anywhere, though; I long ago learned to write and polish a paragraph in my head. And I do a lot of work in my notebooks when I'm travelling, shuttling up to London on the train. I write in the car too; in the passenger seat, I should add.

Soundtrack: What/who do you listen to? Why? How? (headphones, computer, radio?)

I can hear the sea. Nothing else is as good as that. Noise doesn't distract me, necessarily, but if I put on music I quickly blank it out.

Tools: Pens? Notebook? Computer (Mac or PC)? Special software?

Most of my work originates in longhand. I like writing by hand but I have 2 sorts of handwriting; one is quite decorative, and the other is as plain as possible and as legible as possible, my note-taking hand which I use when I copy from a document. At a certain stage I rip up my notebooks and shuffle the pages into some sort of order in ring-binders; from those I work straight on to my pc. I’ve been writing on the screen since 1986, at which point I was into my third book. But I'm old enough to remember the toil in the days of typewriters and messy, smudgy carbon copies.

Words: What are you reading? Do you read anyone to prime the pump, so to speak? Or to escape your own writing?

On the whole I prefer not to read fiction when I'm hard at work on my own writing, because I find it difficult to make the commitment a novel requires, to enter into someone els's imaginary world. Instead I devour newspapers and read books on medicine, psychology, social studies. But much of my reading is tied to research for my Cromwell novels. If I get stuck while I'm writing, if my sentences feel arid, then reading poetry sometimes works. It restores some essential sense of rhythm.

Inspiration: Do you do anything to get inspired? Exercise? Walk? Nap? Hobbies?

Two almost infallible methods for me. If I'm stuck part way through developing a scene, I get into the shower. When you are dripping water, that's when the words start to flow: at the moment of maximum inconvenience. For bigger problems, going to sleep is good. Fresh material swims up as I wake.

If everything is out of proportion, if I'm overwhelmed and mentally tired, a walk by the sea helps. I've always wanted to live by the sea and thought it would be good for me, and the last year's work on Bring Up The Bodies seems to have proved it. This time last year, the book was just a few boxes of notes.

Photo credit: Francesco Guidicini

From Bookforum

In the sequel [to Wolf Hall], Bringing Up the Bodies, which transpires over the year following the execution of More, there is little to mitigate Cronwell's chief task, which is to arrange for the king's wife to be killed at his behest . . . The novel's pace is a slow creep of ghoulish inevitability. The rot seeps and spreads, and Cromwell gains in menace what he loses in sympathy. — Jessica Winter

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 412 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; First Edition edition (May 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780805090031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805090031
  • ASIN: 0805090037
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,507 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Related Media

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By sb-lynn TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Brief summary and review, no spoilers.

This novel is the second book of a trilogy based on the life of Thomas Cromwell. Hilary Mantel's first book, Wolf Hall: A Novel won the Man Booker Award, and deservedly so.

Whereas Wolf Hall covered a relatively long period of time - from Cromwell's humble and difficult upbringing to his becoming King Henry's closest confidant and Master Secretary - the action in this book covers just over a year. This novel begins in Sept. of 1535, and King Henry has been married to Anne Boleyn for just under 3 years. She has given birth to a daughter, Elizabeth, but like Queen Katharine before her she has failed to produce a male heir.

Anne Boleyn and her family have many enemies, both because of her haughty attitude and because of the circumstances of her marrying King Henry. England is in turmoil and deeply divided over Henry's break with the Vatican and over his controversial annulment to his beloved first wife, Katharine of Aragon. Tensions come to a head when Jane Seymour, one of Anne's ladies in waiting comes to the attention of King Henry, and then again when Anne miscarries a son on the same day Queen Katharine is buried. Henry wants out of his marriage and this does not bode well for Anne.

I think it was a wise idea to break up Cromwell's life into this trilogy. Although the time period in this book is short, it is an important time in history and one that is controversial and debated to this day. There are still open questions as to whether or not Anne Boleyn committed treason and adultery and whether or not Queen Katharine had consummated her marriage to King Henry's brother before he married her.
Read more ›
28 Comments 648 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
That's how Hilary Mantel describes Thomas Cromwell in the afterword to this tour de force, the second novel in a trilogy that follows one of the men most instrumental in transforming Henry VIII and his reign, the man who dedicated his life to the study of the king and how to fulfill the latter's wishes and desires. After years of rising in the king's service and having to battle with the old guard, the nobles and gentlemen -- "flattering them, cajoling them, seeking always an easy way of working, a compromise" -- Cromwell is now indispensable to Henry. He also is one of the first to realize, within the first 50 pages of the book, that the king's despair at his lack of an heir nearly three years after his marriage to Anne Boleyn, and Cromwell's own frustration with these nobles, can be neatly resolved at the same time. "I have probably, he thinks, gone as far as I can to accommodate them. Now they must accommodate me, or be removed."

If you have already read Wolf Hall: A Novel and relished Mantel's ability to capture a period in time now nearly five centuries distant, you may as well stop reading this review immediately and hit the "buy now" button to order this sequel, because the second volume in the proposed trilogy is even better. The focus is tighter - on the nine months or so leading up to the fall and execution of Anne Boleyn -- and once again Mantel recounts the events through the eyes of the consummate politician, Cromwell, who has learned well from Machiavelli and who yet still earns the understanding of readers, if not always our sympathy.
Read more ›
8 Comments 242 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Hilary Mantel's book 'Bringing up the Bodies' is the sequel to her phenomenal Booker Prize winning book 'Wolf Hall. It continues the story of Thomas Cromwell; self made man, secretary chief minister and adviser to Henry VIII at one of the most tumultous times in British History.

Bringing up the Bodies picks up where Wolf Hall left off. Anne Boleyn is the new queen and Cromwell has gained in influence in the court. Initially the book suffers a little, as many sequels do, by trying to remind the reader of what occured in the previous novel. The author repeats some stories almost verbatim but the story quickly settles down as a continuation of the previous novel.

Mantel chooses to focus her attention on the slow fall of Anne Boleyn almost to the exception of all else. The destruction of the Monastic system in England and other political upheavals have to take a back seat to the drama between the King and Queen. Politics and schemes abound and Cromwell is mired in a crowd willing to betray him at any moment. I think the author misstepped in implying that all the men accused of having affairs with Anne Boleyn were those who had participated in one single event ridiculing Cardinal Wolsey. The idea that Cromwell, who everywhere else in the books is a practical man, would use such a public method to gain revenge seems transparently sensationalist on the author's part.

The book is also quite vague about whether Anne Boleyn was actually guilty of the crimes she was accused of. Cromwell runs through incidences he can use as proof against her and rumors he collects to bolster up his case. I think part of what Mantel's Cromwell is doing is building his legal case in his head and checking for loopholes that might come up.
Read more ›
39 Comments 199 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Bring Up the Bodies
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Bring Up the Bodies

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?