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The Mirror and the Light

Lu par : Ben Miles
Durée : 38 h et 11 min
Catégories : Anglais - Fiction, Historical
5 out of 5 stars (4 notations)

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Description

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2020.

Listen to the long-awaited sequel to Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, the stunning conclusion to Hilary Mantel's Man Booker Prize-winning Thomas Cromwell trilogy. 

Read by Ben Miles, who played Thomas Cromwell in the Royal Shakespeare Company adaptation of Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies and was personally cast by the author. This edition includes a bonus conversation between Ben Miles and Hilary Mantel. 

'If you cannot speak truth at a beheading, when can you speak it?'

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. 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? 

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.

©2020 Hilary Mantel (P)2020 W. F. Howes Ltd
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Notations
Global
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Interprétation
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Histoire
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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
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  • Histoire
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  • David
  • 10/03/2020

Excellent writing, perfect casting

Easily the best performance of all the books. Ben Miles injects Cromwell with the kind of quietness, ruthlessness, yet down to earth humour you would expect of someone of Cromwell's heritage and journey in life. Miles has played Cromwell excellently on stage with the RSC, but in this performance he actually channels Mark Rylance's incredible portrayal of Cromwell in the series Wolf Hall in my opinion, and does an excellent job. So ignore those complaining about accents and the like, and listen for yourself.

The book itself, as you would expect, is excellent. The writing is exquisite and the conclusion to this trilogy is everything you would expect and more.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sylla
  • 31/03/2020

A perfect match between narrator and narrative

What else is there to say but that this is the most accomplished audio book I ever listened to? Mantel gives us an extraordinarily inspired and inspiring conclusion to the Wolf Hall trilogy with this book. And here her creation is served by the narrator with a level of authenticity and artistry that left me unable to imagine that it was not Cromwell himself speaking to me for the many hours of this book. It felt incredibly intimate and as a polyglot myself, I appreciated the accuracy of the Italian or French at times spoken with just the right English accent. Simply phenomenal.

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Matt Mole
  • 25/06/2020

The best of the trilogy

I found this to be the best of the trilogy. Ben Miles is an excellent narrator and makes great use of the text. I still don’t enjoy the author’s style of writing probably because the constant use of memories and flashbacks stalls the progress of the story. That being said the historical research and characterization are faultless.

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  • TreeCalX
  • 06/06/2020

An exceptional work

I have enjoyed the whole Thomas Cromwell trilogy amongst my best ever audible listens. I thought perhaps the third volume might falter following the first two and at first it seemed to. But then it began to soar not only following the story so well told in the first two but into a rich life of it’s own I found breathtaking. Seldom have I re-listened to sections of a book so often before reaching the end ... not wanting to reach the end. On first hearing the narration I remember being disappointed that it was not the one I enjoyed the most in the first Wolf Hall production and I can’t remember when it was after that that i completely forgot about the narrator - the voice of Ben Miles melted and there was just the story and it’s people. I’ve hard good narrators before - never had one vanish on me like that before.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Vicki Apokis
  • 18/04/2020

3rd Booker Prize Winner?

Lengthy but worthy end to the Wolf Hall trilogy. The subtle demise of Thomas Cromwell.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bjerkana
  • 14/04/2020

Fabulous trip back in time

I began this book, having already listened to the previous two books in the trilogy, just at the beginning of the Coronavirus "social distancing" and it has been my companion on all my "exercise walks" for the past couple of weeks. What a marvellous book! I have been so absorbed in Cromwell's story that I felt I had lost a friend by the time I finished it and cried walking along the path at the end. The final interview between Hilary Mantel and the Narrator, Ben Miles, whose outstanding telling of this story took me right into the Court of Henry VII, added another dimension. Ben has truly inhabited the character of Cromwell and feels more familiar than my own family at this time of physical separation. I can't recommend this book highly enough - but if you haven't already heard the first two books in the trilogy I strongly suggest visiting them first. That way you live Cromwell's entire life through the series. This is a series I'm very sad to have concluded.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06/04/2020

Excellent on all accounts

I was put off by the comments about the narration. But I bought the audiobook and have had no problems at all with the narrator. I really cannot see what the issues are. Ben Miles does a great job. In fact I prefer this narrator to the last one. Highly recommended.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John Forge
  • 05/04/2020

Wonderful book

This book is beautifully written and superbly read. Ben Wiles gives a sustained performance for nearly 40 hours, consistently rendering the different accents of Thomas, the king, Norfolk and the other main characters. The writing is moving and evocative, in the tradition of a great tragedy. A tour de force for author and reader.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • nicola
  • 27/03/2020

Rambling and verbose

Don’t waste a credit on this. I think the author wrote it purely to show off her prose with no thought to plot purpose or actual point. It’s full of trite ramblings and poetic circles which go nowhere. Time to give up Hilary. Ben Miles is excellent

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marti
  • 21/03/2020

Brilliant Narration of an amazing book

38 hours of brilliance, both the narration and the skilled story telling.
History brought to life by clever research.

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  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Roberta
  • 20/04/2020

Third part of Cromwell trilogy

Very good book, I have read the first two parts of the trilogy so knew what was coming. However there are a lot of names in this historical story and, as this is my first Audible, I have discovered of course I do not have a list of characters. This is of course at the front of the books....not obviously part of the audible edition. However the reading is excellent, but the story is very very long and I have a feeling I would prefer the book in my hand. However the writing is just amazing...the end of a wonderful story.....Hilary Mantel is a treat to read.

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Scott MacRae
  • 28/05/2020

Beyond praise

Outstanding storytelling and an outstanding performance. Made self-isolation a pleasure and audiobooks the way to go.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ernst
  • 26/05/2020

Even better then I hoped for

Mantel has surpassed herself. Great writing, on several levels. A beautiful trilogy and Ben Miles is superb in huis performance.