The Mirror & The Light: the masterful conclusion to the Thomas Cromwell trilogy

Dear reader, after three months I have finally finished reading The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel.

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When I say “finally finished” I do not mean that it was a hard slog; quite the opposite. It has been an absolute joy to read all 875 pages.

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For some reason, lockdown has slowed my pace of reading. I used to get through a book a week. But not any more.

I have slowly worked my way through every brilliant page and savoured every sentence.

Those last few pages were tough; not because the words were difficult, but because I loved the story so much that I didn’t want it to end.

Which is even more remarkable, because from the outset of Wolf Hall through to Bring Up The Bodies and finally The Mirror & The Light, the reader already knows the ending. I mean, everyone knows the story of Henry VIII and his six wives. What we didn’t know was the life of his right-hand man, Thomas Cromwell.

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I knew his ending of course, like so many endings of the people surrounding Henry VIII, but what I didn’t know was his life.

I cannot recommend this trilogy enough. What an absolute masterpiece.

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What am I going to read next? Whatever I choose, it will pale in comparison.

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