Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1) Wolf Hall question

"It is a big hat, a new hat. And in that hat there is a feather."
Yitong Zhang Yitong Nov 25, 2012 01:19PM
At the end of part 4 (p.416 in the harpercollins paperback version) Henry is described as wearing a hat. "It is a big hat, a new hat. And in that hat there is a feather."

What is the significance of the hat and of the feather in the hat?

I guess that this refers to the expression about "an extra feather in (his) cap" which is used to describe one-upmanship or an ego boost.

Yitong Zhang thanks!
Dec 01, 2012 09:36PM

Like Helen said, it means he finally got laid.

Isn't that how Henry looks in his portraits?

I thought that line was perfect. Everyone was waiting to see when Anne would give in and sleep with Henry. Mantel chose a classy way to let us know the event had taken place with that great visual image. Like Helen said, "A feather in the hat" connotes an accomplishment that one wishes to boast about.

I remember this, funnily enough. To me, it meant Henry had (at last) gotten his way. You know. - I enjoyed that sentence, though not a great fan of the book. If my memory's at fault and I've got this wrong, sorry.

It has been a while since I read this book and I struggled with it, but I think taking control of a non-Catholic Church of England could be seen as wearing a big new hat.

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