The unabridged audiobook is narrated by Ben Miles, personally cast by Hilary Mantel to bring to life the stunning conclusion to her Booker Prize-winning Thomas Cromwell trilogy.
Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020
"This book has been the greatest challenge of my writing life, and the most rewarding; I hope and trust my readers will find it has been worth the wait.” - Hilary Mantel
They have eaten his banquet and now they will want to sweep him out with the rushes and the bones. But this was his table: he runs on the top of it, among the broken meats. Let them try to pull him down. They will find him armoured, they will find him entrenched, they will find him stuck like a limpet to the future. - Bring up the Bodies
The higher you climb, the further you fall.
Widely regarded as two of the greatest works of historical fiction, Hilary Mantel’s peerless, Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies have dazzlingly charted the rising arc of mercurial Tudor plotter, politician and power broker Thomas Cromwell. Now, in The Mirror & the Light she brings her trilogy to its final, thrilling conclusion.
From a bloodied and tormented child on the rough-and-ready streets of Putney, to the service of the country’s most rich and powerful, Thomas Cromwell has ascended to the highest echelons of Henry VIII’s tumultuous court. He has survived the fall of Cardinal Wolsey and inveigled his way into the King’s confidence, overseen the overthrow of two queens and taken revenge on those who betrayed his former master.
Now all of England lies at his feet, ripe for innovation and religious reform. But as fortune’s wheel turns, Cromwell’s enemies are gathering in the shadows and the question remains: how long can anyone survive under Henry’s cruel and capricious gaze?
Eagerly awaited and eight years in the making, The Mirror & the Light completes Cromwell’s journey from self-made man to one of the most feared and influential figures of his time. Told with immediacy and pace, Mantel’s novels immerse readers in her Tudor world; rich with the sights, smells and textures of 16th century England. No other novelist is so successful in conjuring the intrigue, in-fighting and complex machinations of the machine of courtly politics. In her hands these novels form an unrivalled picture of royalty and common experience, duty and desire, conflict and loyalty. But the crowning glory of the trilogy is Cromwell himself, portrayed with passion, pathos and energy as politician, fixer, husband, father, subject and as a man who both defied and defined his age.
Publisher: W F Howes Ltd
Edition: Unabridged edition
'So, the trilogy is complete and it is magnificent… A novel of epic proportions, every bit as thrilling, propulsive, dark comic, and stupendously intelligent as its predecessors. A masterpiece that will keep yielding its riches.' - The Guardian
'An epic work of historical fiction… We are lucky to have it.' - The Telegraph
'Ambitious, compassionate, clear-eyed, yet emotional, passionate and pragmatic, The Mirror and the Light lays down a marker for historical fiction that will set the standard for generations to come.' - The i
'An amazing feat of sustained achievement.' - Daily Mail
'One of the slightly unfortunate effects of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall novels is that they make 99 per cent of contemporary literary fiction feel utterly pale and bloodless by comparison… The biggest publishing event of 2020… This is rich, full-bodied fiction. Indeed, it might well be the best of the trilogy simply because there is more of it, a treasure on every page.' - The Times
'It feels redundant to state that The Mirror and the Light is a masterpiece. With this trilogy, Mantel has redefined what the historical novel is capable of; she has given it muscle and sinew, enlarged its scope, and created a prose style that is lyrical and colloquial, at once faithful to its time and entirely recognisable to us. Taken together, her Cromwell novels are, for my money, the greatest English novels of this century. Someone give the Booker Prize judges the rest of the year off.' - The Observer
'Mantel’s style remains exhilarating... It is a conflation of expansiveness and precision, refined across her career, which has no peer… the rewards are unrivalled – it is a book not read, but lived. I can only say that on closing the book I wept as I’ve not wept over a novel since I was a child not yet inured to fiction’s cunning.' - The Telegraph
'What The Mirror and the Light offers — even more than the two previous volumes — is engulfing total sensory immersion in a world as completely vanished as Henry’s Nonsuch Palace, materialised through feats of voice, vision, touch and taste. Voice is paramount since it needs to be immediately accessible without jarring anachronism. I have no idea what vocal (and pensive) models Mantel chose for Cromwell but in Montaigne’s Essays and Erasmus she has writing styles that are often close to utterance and are exactly poised between modern bluntness and Renaissance self-interrogation.' - Financial Times
'A stunning conclusion to one of the greatest trilogies of our times.' - The Independent
Praise for Wolf Hall:
'Dizzyingly, dazzlingly good . . . Hugely exciting, packed full of power struggles and political machinations, but also delightfully poetic, vivid in image and phrase. A rich and subtle wonder' Daily Mail
'Beautifully written and terrifying fiction. She makes that world so concrete you can smell the rain-drenched wool cloaks and feel the sharp fibres of rushes underfoot. It's a world of marvels' Daily Telegraph
'As soon as I opened this book I was gripped. I read it almost non-stop. When I did have to put it down, I was full of regret the story was over, a regret I still feel' The Times
Praise for Bring Up the Bodies:
'The greatest modern English prose writer writing today' Peter Stothard, Chairman of the 2012 Man Booker Prize
'In another league. This ongoing story of Henry VIII's right-hand man is the finest piece of historical fiction I have ever read . . . A staggering achievement' Sunday Telegraph
'Darkly magnificent . . . the finest work of historical fiction in contemporary literature' Washington Post
You may also be interested in...
Would you like to proceed to the App store to download the Waterstones App?
Or, add to basket, pay online, collect in as little as 2 hours, subject to availability.