Discussion of Part I, Chapter 1, of Bring Up the Bodies
All page numbers refer to the 2012 hardback edition of Bring Up the Bodies, published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC. Chapter I ‘Am I not a man like other men? Am I not? Am I not?’ (ix) Before we get to the novel, before we even get to the Dramatis Personæ or table of… Continue reading Mike’s Marginalia: Bring Up the Bodies, Part I, Chapter 1
Part 1 ("Across the Narrow Sea" | "Paternity" | "At Austin Friars") Playback | Notes Part 2 ("Visitation" | "An Occult History of Britain" | "Make or Mar") Playback | Notes Part 3 ("Three-Card Trick" | "Entirely Beloved Cromwell" | The Dead Complain of Their Burial") Playback | Notes Part 4 ("Arrange Your Face" | "Alas, What Shall I… Continue reading Wolf Hall: Notes and Recordings
A thesis that I carry to everything I read is this: all writing -- literally ::all:: writing -- has an agenda. Whether it's a novel, a historical account, a shopping list, or an essay. History is not fact, it's conjecture.
A friend sent me a recent(ish) article from the Times Literary Supplement titled, "In defence of Thomas More." My quick answer is: that guy doesn't need a defense. But I put a little more work into it, and that's what follows. It's long, by the way, for those who like a warning.
(I literally do not understand why anyone would want to be a monarch, by the way. Everyone wants you to die. Everything about your existence is rounded by prescription and proscription. Let me be a peasant who dies at 35 if I have to be time-traveled to the 16th century.)
"Supremacy" ...and Charles Brandon is in the fens shouting at a door: For one thing, this just makes me laugh. But as a reminder, the door Brandon is shouting at is Katherine's. She refuses to be moved from Buckden. "She will go nowhere, she says, unless he is prepared to break down the door and bind… Continue reading Mike’s Marginalia for Part VI
A look at Henry's attempt to get rabbis to sign off on his annulment, the Torah passages used, and if it worked. (It didn't.)
Anna Regina Helen Barre: She actually existed, and her story has the pacing of a Victorian sensation novel. But I have to wait until Part 6 to tell it so I don't give anything away too early. ‘I never liked his haughty manners, you know, and his processions every day, the state he kept. And… Continue reading Mike’s Marginalia for Part V
Anne is ::finally:: crowned, so everything is going to go perfectly from here out. We wonder what kind of moral animal Cromwell is. And it's hard out there for a Holy Maid.