Thursday, 21 June 2012

"Bring up the bodies"

I enjoyed catching up with Hilary Mantel's "Wolf Hall" last year, and so was eager to buy the sequel when it appeared in the shops last month. Having just finished it, though, I find myself left with rather a bad taste in the mouth. It's compulsive reading, but a repulsive story (that of the conspiracy leading to the death of Anne Boleyn and her supposed lovers). But I do like the author's note at the end, which includes: "I am not claiming authority for my version; I am making the reader a proposal, an offer." This has to be the only way to present a historical novel. And you can't take away from the fact that Mantel possesses an amazingly fertile imagination.

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