Juliet Wilson's Reviews > Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
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Jan 23, 2010

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bookshelves: novels, history
Read in January, 2010

I won this book in a competition. It's a very long and detailed look at a very specific part of English history, the relationship between Thomas Cromwell and King Henry VIII. It's interesting for the detailed way in which it recreates the particular period in history and the way it throws light onto political corruption and the relationship between church and state. But for all the detail, I didn't feel i ever got close to any of the characters, they all felt as distant as the paintings that Hans Holbein painted of the court.... To be honest I found it excessively long and though I could admire the style of writing I didn't find it comfortable to read, not least for the fact that Cromwell is consistently referred to simply as 'he' which sometimes leaves the reader confused.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Beth Your review is spot on, as far as I'm concerned. The author's liberal use of "he" drove me nuts. Sometimes, I'd backtrack pages to figure out if he was Cromwell, or someone else!

Juliet Wilson Thanks, Beth!

Laura Funny, I noticed that use of the word "he" too ... finally, I just said to myself, okay, whenever she says "he" she means Cromwell and the reading went much better for me after that!

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