Wolf Hall Paperback – Dec 5 2011
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"A stunning book. It breaks free of what the novel has become nowadays. I can't think of anything since Middlemarch which so convincingly builds a world." Diana Athill "A fascinating read, so good I rationed myself. It is remarkable and very learned; the texture is marvellously rich, the feel of Tudor London and the growing household of a man on the rise marvellously authentic. Characters real and imagined spring to life, from the childish and petulant King to Thomas Wolsey's jester, and it captures the extrovert, confident, violent mood of the age wonderfully." C.J. Sansom "A magnificent achievement: the scale of its vision and the fine stitching of its detail; the teeming canvas of characters; the style with its clipped but powerful immediacy; the wit, the poetry and the nuance." Sarah Dunant "A superb novel, beautifully constructed, and an absolutely compelling read. Mantel has created a novel of Tudor times which persuades us that we are there, at that moment, hungry to know what happens next. It is the making of our English world, and who can fail to be stirred by it?" Helen Dunmore
About the Author
Hilary Mantel was born in Derbyshire. She was educated at a convent and later studied law. After ten years abroad in Africa and the Middle East, she returned to Britain in 1985 to make a career as a writer. She is working on her ninth novel.
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Top Customer Reviews
While I did enjoy a fresh take on this period, seeing it through the eyes of Cromwell, as well as seeing him interact with his wife, children and other family members, I did find the present tense very distracting and I had a difficult time getting started. Frankly, I picked up (and finished) four different books in between periods working on this one - although one covering the same period helped me a great deal as it served as a *refresher course* on who and what Cromwell was.
I found I couldn't read it during the work week at the end of the day when my brain was tired as well as on weekends when it was getting too close to bedtime - I put it down and read something lighter. That said, by the time I hit page 150 or so I was enjoying it a great deal and eventually I wasn't bothered the present tense at all, nor the excessive use of referring to Cromwell as "he" (it will drive you nuts at first).
I've seen this book described as a "rich meaty stew" and that's pretty much how I approached it, I took it in small bites over several weeks instead of gorging myself all at once and getting heartburn (reader burnout).Read more ›
Nevertheless, if you are not passing familiar with the facts of Henry's 'Great Matter' and the players involved, then this novel will be very confusing because there is little offered in the way of explanations of who is who and what they are after. If you watch 'The Tudors' or have read any of the histories of Henry's wives, then you will love this fictional account of history through the eyes and mind of Thomas Cromwell.
Most recent customer reviews
Deserves to be a classic. Should be read with its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies.Published 4 months ago by boismagique
Although it took me a few tries to get into this novel due to its stylistic choices, once I did, I couldn't put it down. The characters are rich, vivid and strategic. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Joanna
Love this book on Henry the VIII. Hard to get into it at the start but worth it.I really love her writing style.Published 6 months ago by karen bonnell
One of the best historical fiction novels I've ever read! Mantel is a brilliant & talented writer, never misses a beat. Compelling read!Published 9 months ago by Kath
I read this book when it first came out, and bought it now to re-read. It's a keeperPublished 9 months ago by Deborah M Rose
I stuck it to about a third of the book. I enjoyed the beginning an as I progressed I disliked it more and more (no pun intended) Rare for me to give up on a book but I did with... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Katy Andrews
Excellent book from a different point of view, exhaustively researched and well written.Published 14 months ago by Anne Martin