Novelist Hilary Mantel On The Age Of Henry VIII

We go back to the deadly intrigues in the court of Henry VIII with celebrated “Wolf Hall” author, Hilary Mantel.

Portrait of Henry VIII

Portrait of Henry VIII

Henry VIII and his many wives have made for winking fun for centuries.  His beheading of Anne Boleyn, high drama.  His break with the Pope and dispatch of Thomas More, moral drama.

Hilary Mantel’s bestselling historical novel “Wolf Hall” made it all, once again, a gripping read.  And it made a whole new hero of the story’s anti-hero, Thomas Cromwell – the Tony Soprano of the Tudor age.  The low-born commoner who became the calculating power beside the lusting king.  Now there’s more.

This hour, On Point:  Henry VIII, Hilary Mantel, and her sequel,  “Bring Up the Bodies.”

-Tom Ashbrook


Hilary Mantel, a writer and critic, she’s the author of the new book Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel. In 2009, she won the Man Booker Prize for her novel Wolf Hall.

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post“Hilary Mantel would make a terrible fortuneteller. Several years ago, when the English author began conceiving a novel about Thomas Cromwell, the chief minister of King Henry VIII during his break with the Vatican over the little matter of divorce, she thought it would be a single volume.”

Portrait of Thomas Cromwell

Portrait of Thomas Cromwell

Huffington Post “Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall was the literary event of 2009, winning the Man Booker prize, breaking onto the bestseller list and ultimately becoming inescapable. Simply everyone read it and loved it. Mantel’s accomplishment was multifold: she brought history to life, turned the very familiar event of Henry VIII dumping his wife for Anne Boleyn into a nail-biting political thriller and upended our image of Thomas Cromwell from a villain who persecuted the saintly Thomas More into the most modern and likable of men.”

Globe and Mail “It created such a buzz that any reviewer who wanted to read an advance copy of the new Cromwell novel, Bring Up the Bodies, had to sign a non-disclosure agreement first, a restriction usually reserved for Hollywood blockbusters. (Spoiler alert: Anne Boleyn dies in the end.)”


You can hear excerpts from the audiobook read by Simon Vance from Macmillan Audio here and here.

Video: Bring Up the Bodies

Author Hilary Mantel talks about her new novel, Bring Up the Bodies.

Excerpt: Bring Up The Bodies

Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.


England Be Glad by Hilliard Ensemble

Grene Growith the Holy by Sirinu

The Duke of Sommersette’s Dompe by Hilliard Ensemble

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