The suspenseful and interesting tale of the downfall of Anne Boleyn, second queen to King Henry VIII of England, is told in the book “Bring up the Bodies” by Hilary Mantel. Personally, I disliked the book because it was difficult to read even though I have a high reading level and comprehension. It also was not a very attention-grabbing or fast-paced book, and I became tired of reading it after a few minutes.
Anne, the main character, is unable to produce a son and heir to the throne for the king, which is when the rumors in the court and kingdom start. After Katherine of Aragon, the king’s first wife, dies in exile from the court, the rumors, gossip and hate towards Anne grew worse. This and certain events lead to Anne and her suitors being put to trial for adultery and treason.
The main characters run into many challenges throughout the story and many of these conflicts ended poorly. A character I found likable was Jane Seymour, the quiet and conservative lady-in-waiting to Katherine and Anne. She is a character that many would enjoy reading about.
The book was very complex and difficult to read. To improve the book Mantel could have used a more modern language and added a more enthralling story line. I also had the impression that this book would be fictional, but it turned out to be more of a historical non-fiction work, which was very disappointing.
If I were to recommend it to someone, I would probably recommend it to someone who has a high reading comprehension and is able to understand big words like “ crenelations” and “camaraderie” or enjoys reading about the kingdoms of England during the late 1500’s. I would also recommend that you read the first book of the series, Wolf Hall, before trying to read “Bring Up The Bodies.”