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Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
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Jun 02, 10

Read from May 25 to June 02, 2010

We have a lot to thank Thomas Cromwell before. Without him, we'd still be subjected to a daily dose of wizards, portentous speeches about relics, swords submerged in lakes, widespread hoods and damsels in distress. He had clearly had enough of all that nonsense and decided to march Britain into the modern era.

This may have come at a price - and hoods have made a bit of a comeback - but this is a wonderful piece of historical revisionism from the immensely capable Mantel, an author who has been recommended to me many times over.

The period fascinates in that one set of conservative values gave way to another, all pretty much for reasons of realpolitik; but Cromwell provided the checks and balances to the rampant selfishness of the Tudor King and court and never seems to lose sight of what's broadly fair and proper, even if he occasionally has to instigate actions that distress him. One suspects, however, that the promised sequel will provide a different story - uploading that image of Anne of Cleves onto www.match.com is perhaps something Cromwell will regret.
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Reading Progress

05/25/2010 page 110
16.92%

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