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

Hilary Mantel's amazing character portraits
Tim Weed Tim Aug 25, 2013 06:02AM
I think Hilary Mantel is a genius, and this book is one of the best of the century so far. Here's my take on why:


Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?

Lydia (last edited Aug 26, 2013 05:08PM ) Aug 26, 2013 05:07PM   1 vote
I have read both books. I do think that it is one of the most clever takes on history. So much has been written about royalty, especially of the Tudor era, who would have thought that writing about, what is essentially a government functionary, would be so well done.

I read Wolf Hall cover-to-cover in about a week, even sitting under the hair dryer in the beauty shop. I am a huge Shakespeare and Elizabethan England fan, and visited the castle where Anne Boleyn and Henry lived. Still, Mantel managed to make me feel as if I had plunged back into the exact time and place. Her writing is vivid and forceful, and goes so deeply into the mind of Thomas Cromwell, that I feel as if I were inside his brain. Just started "Bringing Up the Bones" and I'm enjoying that just as much.

I agree with your review whole-heartedly and with all the comments here. It converted me to historic-novels, which I did not like before as I felt you couldn't really know especially how these people felt. Once I read both books I went on straight to The Other Boleyn Girl The Other Boleyn Girl, which I also loved and very much recommend.

Lydia If you have read The Other Boleyn Girl, move on to The Boleyn Inheritance. A prequel to both books would be The Constant Princess.
Jun 18, 2014 06:58PM
Gisela Hafezparast Thanks will do.
Jun 23, 2014 06:32AM

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The descriptions and the character development were superb. I felt like I was viewing historical events through a very clear window.

An interesting link, Tim, thank you.

I agree with the reviewer, though as well as the characterisation I think the writing style is genius. The first time I finished it I started it again straight away because I couldn't bear to say goodbye - even temporarily - to Thomas!

A Place of Greater Safety was the first Mantel I read, Marina, and I loved it - notwithstanding the sheer length - I read it in traditional book format and lost count of the number of times I had to put it down because of wrist ache! Imagine my surprise when, on finishing this novel I moved straight on to Beyond Black, unconsciously expecting something similar I suppose. How different it is - but an equally compelling read.

In short, yes, this lady is literary genius, and I think the Cromwell Trilogy will last a good deal longer than any of us!!

I resisted reading "Wolf Hall" for quite a while and can kick myself for having done so. When I finished it, I read "Bring Up The Bodies" and "A Place of Greater Safety" in short order. I am really looking forward to the third volume in the Cromwell series.

I agree. Amazing writing, very economic but communicates an awful lot of info at the same time. Thoroughly deserving of the Booker awards.

I agree totally hooked once I started to read!I couldn't put it down! A really different account of the Young Cromwell! I had to finish it so I could start Bring Up The Bodies

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