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Bring Up the Bodies

Bring Up the Bodies

Bring Up the Bodies

作    者
Mantel, Hilary;  
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所属分类
Fiction > Historical
出版社
Henry Holt & Co
ISBN-13
9780805090031
ISBN-10
0805090037
出版日期
2012-05
页数
410
单位
尺寸
23.5 * * 15.54
装帧
Hardcover
版本

About the Author

Hilary Mantel is the bestselling author of ten previous novels, including Wolf Hall, which sold more than 200,000 copies and won the 2009 Man Booker Prize. Her previous works include her novel, A Place of Greater Safety, and her memoir, Giving Up the Ghost. She lives in England with her husband.

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


Review

Praise for Wolf Hall:‘This is a beautiful and profoundly human book, a dark mirror held up to our own world. And the fact that its conclusion takes place after the curtain has fallen only proves that Hilary Mantel is one of our bravest as well as our most brilliant writers.’ Olivia Laing, Observer‘As soon as I opened the book I was gripped. I read it almost non-stop. When I did have to put it down, I was full of regret that the story was over, a regret I still feel. This is a wonderful and intelligently imagined retelling of a familiar tale from an unfamiliar angle.’ The Times‘Mantel is a writer who sees the skull beneath the skin, the worm in the bud, the child abuse in the suburbs and the rat in the mattress…Turning her attention to Tudor England, she makes that world at once so concrete you can smell the rain-drenched wool cloaks…This is a splendidly ambitious book…I wait greedily for the sequel, but “Wolf Hall” is already a feast.’ Daily Telegraph‘A compelling and humane investigation of the cost of ambition.’ Guardian‘Mantel’s ability to pick out vivid scenes from sources and give them life within her fiction is quite exceptional…Vividly alive.’ London Review of Books‘A stunning book. It breaks free of what the novel has become nowadays. I can’t think of anything since “Middlemarch” which so convincingly builds a world.’ Diana AthillA fascinating read, so good I rationed myself. It is remarkable and very learned; the texture is marvellously rich, the feel of Tudor London and the growing household of a man on the rise marvellously authentic. Characters real and imagined spring to life, from the childish and petulant King to Thomas Wolsey's jester, and it captures the extrovert, confident, violent mood of the age wonderfully.” C.J. Sansom"A magnificent achievement: the scale of its vision and the fine stitching of its detail; the teeming canvas of characters; the style with its clipped but powerful immediacy; the wit, the poetry and the nuance." Sarah Dunant"A... --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.