In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political powerEngland in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn.
"Divorced, beheaded, died..."
Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down.
"Perfection in story and the telling"
It is 1789, and three young provincials have come to Paris to make their way. Georges-Jacques Danton, an ambitious young lawyer, is energetic, pragmatic, debt-ridden - and hugely but erotically ugly. Maximilien Robespierre, also a lawyer, is slight, diligent, and terrified of violence. His dearest friend, Camille Desmoulins, is a conspirator and pamphleteer of genius. A charming gadfly, erratic and untrustworthy, bisexual and beautiful, Camille is obsessed by one woman and engaged to marry another, her daughter.
""Historical" diatribes posing as a novel."
A tour-de-force of historical imagination, this is the story of three young men at the dawn of the French Revolution. Georges-Jacques Danton: zealous, energetic, debt-ridden. Maximilien Robespierre: small, diligent, and terrified of violence. And Camille Desmoulins: a genius of rhetoric, charming, handsome, but erratic and untrustworthy. As these key figures of the French Revolution taste the addictive delights of power, they must also come to face the horror that follows.
"No cast of characters available"
By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. In Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn.
"As good as the Wolf Hall"
From the two-time Man Booker award-winning author, comes a collection of short stories. Ranging from a ghost story to a vampire story to a near-memoir to mini-sagas of family and social fracture. Each story brilliantly unsettles the listener with Mantel’s classic wicked humor and unsparing eye, in an unmistakably Mantel way.
"Superhuman Prose that Defies Gravity"
Tudor England. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is charged with securing his divorce. Into this atmosphere of distrust comes Thomas Cromwell - a man as ruthlessly ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.
One dark and stormy night in 1956, a stranger named Fludd mysteriously turns up in the dismal village of Fetherhoughton. He is the curate sent by the bishop to assist Father Angwin - or is he? In the most unlikely of places, a superstitious town that understands little of romance or sentimentality, where bad blood between neighbors is ancient and impenetrable, miracles begin to bloom. Fludd becomes lover, gravedigger, and savior, transforming his dull office into a golden regency of decision, unashamed sensation, and unprecedented action.
"Small, tight irreverant novel that wryly inverts"
Ten years have passed since Muriel Axon was locked away for society's protection, but psychiatric confinement has only increased her malice and ingenuity. At last free, she sets into motion an intricate plan to exact revenge on those who had her put away. Her former social worker, Isabel, and her old neighbors have moved on, but Muriel, with her talent for disguise, will infiltrate their homes and manipulate their lives, until all her enemies are brought together for a gruesome finale.
Ralph and Anna Eldred are an exemplary couple, devoting themselves to doing good. 30 years ago as missionaries in Africa, the worst that could happen did. Shattered by their encounter with inexplicable evil, they returned to England, never to speak of it again. But when Ralph falls into an affair, Anna finds no forgiveness in her heart, and 30 years of repressed rage and grief explode, destroying not only a marriage but also their love, their faith, and everything they thought they were.
When Frances Shore joins her engineer husband in Jeddah, she is warned not to ask questions. But bored, she begins to speculate about her neighbors and the empty flat above her. At first she believes the flat is being used as a lover's tryst - then she suspects something more sinister.
"Vintage Mantel, ahead of its time"
Carmel McBain is the only child of working-class Irish-Catholic parents. Her mother aspires to something more for her than what life in their depressed mill town has to offer, determined that Carmel slip through England's rigid social barriers. And so, early on, she pushes Carmel, first to gain a scholarship to the local convent school, then to sit the exams for a place at London University. It sets her on a lonely journey that will take her as far as possible from where she began, uprooting her from the ties of class and place, of family and faith, and ultimately from her own self.
"Excellent story telling"
Frances Shore is a cartographer by trade, a maker of maps, but when her husband's work takes her to Saudi Arabia she finds herself unable to map the Kingdom's areas of internal darkness. The regime is corrupt and harsh, and the streets are not a woman's territory; so she becomes confined in her flat. As her days empty of certainty and purpose, her life becomes a blank – waiting to be filled by violence and disaster.
London, 1782: center of science and commerce, home to the newly rich and the desperately poor. In the midst of it all is the Giant, O'Brien, a freak of nature, a man of song and story who trusts in myths, fairies, miracles, and little people. He has come from Ireland to exhibit his size for money. O'Brien's opposite is a man of science, the famed anatomist John Hunter, who lusts after the Giant's corpse as a medical curiosity, a boon to the advancement of scientific knowledge.
Ralph and Anna Eldred live in the big Red House in Norfolk, raising their four children and devoting their lives to charity. But the constant flood of 'good souls and sad cases' welcomed into their home hides the growing crises in their own family. From the violent townships of South Africa to the windswept countryside of Norfolk, this is an epic yet subtle family saga about what happens when trust is broken...
A brilliant collection of short stories from the double Man Booker Prize-winning author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.Hilary Mantel is one of Britain's most accomplished and acclaimed writers. In these ten bracingly subversive tales, all her gifts of characterisation and observation are fully engaged, summoning forth the horrors so often concealed behind everyday façades.
"Insightful overall but patchy in its quality."
It is London, 1970. Carmel McBain, in her first term at university, has cut free of her childhood roots in the north. Among the gossiping, flirtatious girls of Tonbridge Hall, she begins her experiments in life and love. But the year turns. The mini-skirt falls out of style and an era of concealment begins. Carmel's world darkens, and tragedy waits in the wings.
"Return to your student youth if you dare"
Evelyn Axona is a medium by trade; her daughter, Muriel, is a half-wit by nature. Barricaded in their crumbling house, surrounded by the festering rubbish of years, they defy the curiosity of their neighbors and their social worker, Isabel Field. Isabel is young and inexperienced and has troubles of her own: an elderly father who wanders the streets, and a lover, Colin, who wants her to run away with him. But Colin has three horrible children and a shrill wife who is pregnant again - how is he going to run anywhere?
Evelyn and Muriel Axon, mother and daughter, lead a haunted existence. Objects of horror to their neighbours, they evade or terrorise any social worker who crosses their path. Inside their house, they pursue a covert persecution of each other, shrinking from the unseen occupants of their spare room. But change is in the air… Every Day is Mother's Day is a merciless comedy of colliding lives: of sex, death, madness, adultery and the social services.
"A harrowing but satisfying read."
The sequel to the Man Booker-winning Wolf Hall. ‘My boy Thomas, give him a dirty look and he’ll gouge your eye out. Trip him, and he’ll cut off your leg,’ says Walter Cromwell in the year 1500. ‘But if you don’t cut across him he’s a very gentleman. And he’ll stand anyone a drink.’ By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith’s son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church.
"Hard to fault"