‘If you cannot speak truth at a beheading, when can you speak it?’
The Mirror and the Light—the triumphant conclusion to Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize-winning Wolf Hall trilogy—is out internationally today!
The book is published in South Africa by Jonathan Ball Publishers.
With The Mirror and the Light, Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.
The book traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man’s vision: of a modern nation making itself through conflict, passion and courage.
The Mirror and the Light has been longlisted for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction, and is expected to be one of the biggest books of the year. Pre-orders for the novel were up by fifty per cent on pre-orders for Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments, which sold almost 180,000 copies in its first month after publication in the United Kingdom, and in London hundreds of fans queued up in the rain outside bookshop Waterstones to buy one of the first copies on sale.
Last night, the cover of The Mirror and the Light was projected onto the walls of the Tower of London, ‘returning the book to the very site where it thrillingly starts and ends’.
Watch the book trailer:
About the book
England, May 1536. Anne Boleyn is dead, decapitated in the space of a heartbeat by a hired French executioner. As her remains are bundled into oblivion, Thomas Cromwell breakfasts with the victors. The blacksmith’s son from Putney emerges from the spring’s bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry VIII, settles to short-lived happiness with his third queen, before Jane dies giving birth to the male heir he most craves.
Cromwell is a man with only his wits to rely on; he has no great family to back him, no private army. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. But can a nation, or a person, shed the past like a skin? Do the dead continually unbury themselves? What will you do, the Spanish ambassador asks Cromwell, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him?
About the author
Hilary Mantel is the author of fourteen books, including A Place of Greater Safety, Beyond Black, the memoir Giving up the Ghost, and the short-story collection The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher. Her two most recent novels, Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies, have both been awarded the Man Booker Prize—an unprecedented achievement.