The History Book Club discussion

Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)
This topic is about Wolf Hall

Comments Showing 1-7 of 7 (7 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod

Folks, for those of you who have already completed WOLF HALL, here is a SPOILER thread where you can discuss any aspect of the book and/or for those who cannot stand the anticipation of waiting to discuss other chapters in advance.

How did you like the book overall. Who were your favorite characters or favorite scenes and why? What did you like about the book; what were its strengths and weaknesses?

In fact, this is a thread to discuss any of your final thoughts on the book itself or have expansive discussions which may contain spoilers. Please do not place spoilers of any kind on the weekly non spoiler threads. Spoilers will be deleted from non spoiler threads.


Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel Hilary Mantel Hilary Mantel

message 2: by Garret (last edited Mar 26, 2011 07:33AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Garret (ggannuch) Has anyone finished the book?

There are many and varied historical accounts of Cromwell’s life. Did you find his portrayal as a sympathetic character surprising and believable? This is a very different Cromwell than we usually get, and I suspect most of us know More and Cromwell from the screen Adaptation of A Man for All Seasons.description

Do you think that Hilary Mantel successfully merges
historical fact with the narrative?

Why do you think that Hilary Mantel chose the title Wolf Hall (Jane Seymour’s family home) when Jane Seymour is a relatively minor character in the novel?

There is a planned sequel; did Wolf Hall leave you wanting more?

A Man for All Seasons A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt Robert Bolt

message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Jane produced an heir (a future king)...not sure if that had anything to do with it.

Wikipedia states the following:

The title comes from the name of the Seymour family seat at Wolf Hall or Wulfhall in Wiltshire; the title's allusion to the old Latin saying "Man is wolf to man" serves as a constant reminder of the dangerously opportunistic nature of the world through which Cromwell navigates.[4] None of the action occurs at Wolf Hall.

The protagonist late in the novel remembers this:

"…homo homini lupus, man is wolf to man."

Someone mentioned this phrase of really being telling in terms of how the world really works (from the novel):

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 rosewater.

message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
This was part of the Wall Street Journal review:

The novel's title is well- chosen, for it is certainly a vulpine world we see here, not least when the blood flows. "Smell her!" a spectator cries out, as a woman is being burned at the stake for heresy. "Smell the old sow. . . . Do you know that in the fire they bleed? Some people think they just shrivel up." But the actual Wolf Hall is the family seat of the Seymours, whose daughter Jane will become Henry's third wife.

message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
I also want to thank Garret for hanging in there. This was a terrific first listen and a real giant of a book.

Katy (kathy_h) Finally finished the book.
Sat down and took the time to read it, and it was very good.
The writing is well done, and makes Cromwell a sympathetic character. Very different from other books I've read about this time period in England.

Worth the read.

message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 13, 2011 06:18PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Yes Kathy, I thought so too. It was like reading three books wasn't it; very dense for historical fiction.

I did this book as an unabridged audio so you can imagine how long it took me.

It seems to make not only Cromwell a sympathetic character but the entire Protestant Reformation in many ways; especially in the way the author marginalized and portrayed Sir Thomas More. Most books make the villain out to be Cromwell not More.

back to top