By Hilary Mantel
Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2009
England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey’s clerk, and later his successor.
Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with a delicate and deadly expertise in manipulating people and events. Ruthless in pursuit of his own interests, he is as ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.
From one of our finest living writers, ‘Wolf Hall’ is that very rare thing: a truly great English novel, one that explores the intersection of individual psychology and wider politics. With a vast array of characters, and richly overflowing with incident, it peels back history to show us Tudor England as a half-made society, moulding itself with great passion, suffering and courage.Tweet
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Wolf Hall is an historical novel about Thomas Cromwell and the Tudors. If you enjoy this genre, then Wolf Hall is for you. It takes some time to read and is quirky in its writing style - for example, no quotation marks, written in the present tense, and the mysterious use of ‘he’, referring usually to Cromwell. The author, however, does a good job of breathing life into the main characters of the story and keeping reader interest.
In parts Wolf Hall can be confusing and onerous, but the story is riveting and well worth persevering with.
A well written historical novel well deserving of it’s success.
Such an intense and powerful novel, dense and intricate, yet still so interesting.
Excellent, highly recommended
This book is narrated by Thomas Cromwell and reveals the Tudor world of Henry VIII. It really helps the reader understand the complicated, brutal world of Tudor politics and how issues like class and birth play such an important part in the destiny of individuals. This book is a great read for anyone interested in Tudor history, as it puts the meat on the bones of the events of this period, even though one must remember it is a work of fiction.
This is a superb read, innovatively written and rich with palace intrigue. Fans of Henry VIII and The Tudors will not be disappointed!