Blodeuedd Finland's Reviews > Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
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Nov 11, 09

bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read in November, 2009



I knew this book had won the Man Book prize this year and I did have high hopes. I was glad to see that they came through. There is nothing I love more than excellent writing, beautiful writing, an author that proud can call herself an author. Mantel manages this. She has a certain sort of style that I do not know how to describe. It makes the words move slowly, it's a slow pace to the book like it holds on to you so you will not miss a single word. I should know because I have been known to jump pages and still read them. Here is steadied myself and read slowly. She has a nice style.

This could have been a boring book, but Mantel saves it with great writing and my favorite part, gossip. She tells the story of Thomas Cromwell, a man born in obscurity who worked his way up and at last became a trusted advisor to Henry VIII. This book sets place at the time of Anne Boleyn. After having met Thomas as a young boy running away we meet him again when he works for the bishop of York. He is known for making money. And at this time the streets are buzzing with the kings new mistress. It will be Cromwell that finally gets the kings divorce so that he can marry Anne.

The title Wolf Hall comes from the ancestral seat of the Seymour. Sure they do not play a big part of this book since it's all about the Boleyns. But we all know as we read that we should look in the shadows for Jane Seymour and she does show up. A gray little thing, and as the book will close with Wolf Hall. A new beginning, or rather a new try.

She writes about every day life, and the struggle for the king to marry Anne Boleyn. A woman who does not come across favourable in this book, now that is rather her poor sister who longs to be free in the end. It's a truthful and well researched book about what really went on. No over excessing glamour, sex or people made out to be heroes. No, real life as it was then. Power struggles, and death.

Gossip was a big part of the book and at that time I am sure they would have gossiped a lot about the situation going on. But it's told as it is, gossip, no truth, because that we can not know. But I still enjoyed it a lot. It was very interesting and it gave a good feel of that era. There was also some talk about those kings that came before, and yes a bit more gossip. They were really a fascinating bunch of people and I can't remember I learned this much about English history or the Royal family.

It is a book that is worthy of it's award. A great style and a way of writing that makes you see ordinary things in a new life. And a truthful look at life back then, and on one of the most famous and written about times in English history.

And yes it had me googling like crazy at the ending to know more about everything. Nothing like brushing up your history about the Tudors. I did not know he was related to Boleyn, I knew she was related to a wife but not a another. It was a family feast.
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