My Friday Post: The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

Book Beginnings Button

Every Friday Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader where you can share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

Mirror and Light

I began reading The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel as soon as it arrived in the post on 6 March – and I’m still reading it, very slowly, as it is a very long and detailed book.

It begins:

Wreckage (1)

London, May 1536

Once the queen’s head is severed, he walks away.

He is Thomas Cromwell, Secretary to Henry VIII, and the Queen was Anne Boleyn.

Also every Friday there is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice.

30879-friday2b56These are the rules:

  1. Grab a book, any book.
  2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader. If you have to improvise, that is okay.
  3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  4. Post it.
  5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda’s most recent Friday 56 post.

Page 56: Chapuys, the  ambassador of the Emperor Charles V is talking to Cromwell about the dangers to Henry’s life:

A dagger thrust, it is easily done. It may be, even, it needs no human hand to strike. There is plague that kills in a day. There is the sweating sickness that kills in an hour.

How true!


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. She 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.


Does this book appeal to you too? Have you read/are you reading this book

13 thoughts on “My Friday Post: The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

  1. Yes, it hurts my wrists. And it’s so tightly bound it’s hard to keep the pages open. I almost wish I’d bought the Kindle copy, but I have the other two books in hardback, so I wanted to complete the trilogy.


  2. Oh, I do hope you’re enjoying this, Margaret! I keep hearing great things about it. It’s not easy to keep high quality across a trilogy, but from what I hear, Mantel has done it with this. I’m eager to know your thoughts when you’ve finished.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I got it the day it came out and read it in about 5 or 6 days I think, mind you I didn’t do anything else those days. I loved it and will re-read the trilogy at some point as I loved it all so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First of all, what an amazing cover! Also, I like the quotes very much. I will add it to my TBR list. Thank you for sharing it 🙂


  5. I am really looking forward to reading this final book in the trilogy. Powerful beginning. It will be hard to read of Cromwell’s downfall. Dangerous times. I find these a really fresh look at Tudor England.


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