Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2009.
(Note that this ebook contains family trees, which are best viewed on a tablet.)
'Lock Cromwell in a deep dungeon in the morning,' says Thomas More, 'and when you come back that night he'll be sitting on a plush cushion eating larks' tongues, and all the gaolers will owe him money.'
England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has...more
I love historical fiction, especially from this time period, so I expected to really like this one. I thought that telling the story of Henry VIII from the viewpoint of Cromwell was an interesting twist and I looked forward to learning ...more
Unless there is some good reason which I can't imagine, this sort of obfuscation is just lazy writing which disrespects the reader. May I re-think that, based on a comment ...more
Thomas Cromwell by Hans Holbein. Cromwell was a great supporter of Holbein and personal gave him ...more
This novel is ...more
[Cue cute organ/guitar intro]
I thought great historical novels about the 16th century were only true in fairy tales
Meant for someone else but not for me
Mmm, historical novelists were out to get me
That's the way it seemed
Disappointment haunted all my dreams
Then I read Wolf Hall ! Now I'm a believer!
Not a trace of doubt in my mind!
Ooh I'm in love!
Ooh Hilary Mantel I couldn’t leave you if I tried
But then some strange things began ...more
The fate of peoples is made like this, two men in small rooms. Forget the coronations, the conclaves of cardinals, the pomp and processions. This is how the world changes: a counter pushed across a table, a pen stroke that alters the force of a phrase, a woman’s sigh as she passes and leaves on the air a trail of orange flower or rose water; her hand pulling close the bed curtain, the discrete sigh of flesh against flesh.Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown…but really, crown-wearers seem ...more
I treat this novel as a qualified failure of an experiment (qualified since I am open to the possibility that the failure was mine) and I sincerely wish that Mantel does not win the Booker this year - I just cannot bring myself to spend anymore time with her lifeless narrator.
More than anything else Wolf Hall seemed to me to be a literary experiment - on how closely a woman can get into a man's mind, and as far as I am concerned, a qualified failure. I could never truly feel that the narration ...more
'Someone asks him if he wants to confess.
‘Yes, sir, or you will be thought a sectary.’
This is a hard novel to read. It chronicles the life of Thomas Cromwell, and the narrative is focalised through him. However, ...more
I honestly don't remember what kind of history I was taught in school, but the ...more
Well, to understand the circumstances ...more
For a start Hilary Mantel ...more
Wolf Hall (2009) is a historical novel by English author Hilary Mantel. Wolf Hall is a sympathetic fictionalised biography documenting the rapid rise to power of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII through to the death of Sir Thomas More. The novel won both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 2012, The Observer named it as one of "The 10 best historical novels".
Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)
Bring Up the Bodies ...more
My favorite thing about Wolf ...more
The book introduces all the figures familiar to readers of other Tudor ...more
He thinks, I remember you, Thomas More, but you didn't remember me. You never even saw me coming.
My third reading (actually this time I listened to the wonderful audiobook) and finally this has turned into a 5-star book for me. Perhaps because this time I really got behind Cromwell's voice (surely that 'he' that so many complain about is representing Cromwell's inner voice, not a 3rd person narrator talking of Cromwell?) and was ready to pick up on all the subtle hints that this depicts one of ...more
Sure, this period has been much-written about, but I love the fresh approach that Hilary Mantel takes in her Wolf Hall novels, which is to tell the story of Anne Boleyn's rise and fall from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell, a low-born lawyer who eventually became a ...more
That said, it is very well likely that the problem with Hillary Mantel’s Wolf Hall is me. After all, it is a hugely popular, elegantly written, Man Booker Prize winning novel. Far be it from me to criticize it.
But I will, since I’m here.
Wolf Hall tells the story of King Henry VIII, his dalliance ...more
Indeed, I consulted several of those reviews while reading this lengthy tome, especially at the beginning, just to help orient myself and see if I was the only one having a tough time with the names, characters and historical allusions. I wasn’t! Mantel certainly doesn’t "write down"; we have to keep up with her, even if it requires consulting the pages ...more
Dear Ms. Mantel:
Thank you for submitting your manuscript entitled Wolf Hall. After careful consideration, we have chosen not to publish your work in its current form. However, we believe that with certain modifications, our mutual interests may be well-served. The senior editor in our Business and Management Division, Lee Gultender, has what we hope is an intriguing idea for you to entertain. He proposes that you use the same main characters from your present book as exemplars in ...more
Gosh, I am so sad this book ended but very excited that this is the first of a trilogy.
For the first 15% or so of the book I often had to re-read many passages as I found the style of the writing very challenging and did not who was who. Then something magical happened and everything fell into place and I now adore Mantel's style in this book.
Thomas Cromwell is a wonderful antihero full of a subtle complexity, and a magnetism that is both alluring and mysterious. The other characters ...more
Dazzling and Mesmeric: "Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel
Translated from Portuguese, I once heard this (I'm paraphasing because I don't remember the exact words): "It is barely readable owing to having no speech marks so you just do not know who's speaking. It is also confusing in its writing style as it flips between story lines with no hint of that change. The author's use of 'he' to cover anyone in a group makes following the dialogue ...more