A long read, this one. Partly due to size – at over 900 pages it’s a long read (and the hardback, which is the version I was reading, was that bit too unwieldy to read in bed) plus it’s a dense read.
The chapters are long, functioning more like sections to designate key timespans, which made it all too easy to stop after a short chunk rather than getting to the end of a chapter which I find sometimes helps me get properly into a longer book.
I’m sure the general weirdness of the (first) year of COVID-19, and the long days of “working from home”, haven’t helped my powers of concentration either.
In particular I found the early/middle sections harder to get through than the other two books, but once I got to Anne of Cleves I was back in the zone.
Author page: The Mirror & The Light – Hilary Mantel
Once I’d finished, I looked up some of the names on Wikipedia. Close this review now if you don’t know how Cromwell’s story ends.
Henry VIII was shown portraits of both Anne of Cleves and her younger sister, Amalia of Cleves, as possible post-Jane Seymour brides. Amalia does not look like a docile damsel in the slightest. In fact she looks like a young woman who has a mind of her own, and determination to match. Perhaps that’s why she never married.
By Hans Holbein – https://www.rct.uk/collection/912190/an-unidentified-woman, Public Domain, Link
And “Call-Me” (aka Thomas Wriothesley) looks decidedly duplicitous in this portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger:
By Hans Holbein – Metropolitan Museum of Art , Public Domain, Link