Recording available through June 22
With The Mirror & the Light, Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with her peerless, Booker Prize–winning novels, 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.
The story begins in 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, 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. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad, and the threat of invasion testing Henry VIII’s regime to the breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future, even as his enemies are gathering in the shadows.
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. Named a best book of 2020 by the New York Times, the Washington Post, TIME, the Guardian, and many other publications, The Mirror & the Light is written with Mantel’s unique energetic prose and profound human psychology, exemplifying the very best of historical fiction.
Hilary Mantel and Ben Miles have adapted The Mirror and the Light for the West End stage in London; it will run at the Gielgud Theatre from September 23 – November 28, 2021, with Miles starring as Thomas Cromwell.
“The Mirror & the Light provides a fittingly Shakespearean resolution to Mantel’s magisterial work." —The Washington Post