What could be better –a warm sunny day (or 3), a comfy chair in a quiet garden, time to read and Hilary Mantel’s prizewinning continuation of being Thomas Cromwell.
Bring up the Bodies is every bit as good as its forerunner, Wolf Hall, There is firstly the authentic language, words that are ancient & foreign to modern ears and yet with clear meaning, prose that flows, its sentences doing what all good sentences should do -saying one thing and saying it clearly, and always as if Cromwell was dictating them.
The story is, of course, well known but also much of it is unknown and contentious, as Mantel says at the close. No matter, the exit of Henry 8th’s second wife is a good story, with a cast that provides the very best of character, parody and pathos. Mantel blends all this into a simply wonderful novel. Bring on the next one, this is the way to write history even if it is possibly somewhat at a slant.
The end of the book was today … tomorrow we are going to market to buy hens. Paul has set up the electric fence so their newly trimmed run, clean and freshly strawed house is (we very much hope) safe from the foxes and anything else that might try to get in. And I must find new book!!
Also today the farmers have been out sowing seeds of summer wheat, or maybe corn. Giant machines are passing across the Le Gers clay, now slightly drier after a few days sun. Perhaps the beds at the bottom of our garden might be ready for the seed potatoes that wait to be planted!
The strawberries are ripening but the slugs and ants have the upper hand in most at the moment. Looks like we need to scatter some nasty stuff around and fill the traps with yet more beer.