Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall

Book - 2009
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Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2009 '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.'

Blackwell North Amer
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 no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor. Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with a delicate and deadly expertise in manipulating people and events. Ruthless in pursuit of his own interests, he is as ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages. From one of our finest living writers, Wolf Hall is that very rare thing: a truly great English novel, one that explores the intersection of individual psychology and wider politics. With a vast array of characters, and richly overflowing with incident, it peels back history to show us Tudor England as a half-made society, moulding itself with great passion and suffering and courage.

Publisher: London : Fourth Estate, 2009
ISBN: 9781554687732
9780007230181
0007230184
9780007292417
Branch Call Number: MAN
Characteristics: 651 p. ; 25 cm

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From Library Staff

England in the 1520s. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer... Read More »


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m
maipenrai
Mar 24, 2021

Wow! This is an amazing retelling of the saga of Henry VIII and his efforts to marry Anne Boleyn. Told from the point of view of Oliver Cromwell who becomes the second most powerful man in England because he has the ear of the king and enables his marriage. In his fight against Henry and the heretics of the new Protestant faiths, Thomas More does not come off a quite the hero that he has been portrayed in previous depictions. The dialogue and descriptions of the period are so adept, that you sometimes wonder if Ms. Mantel is the reincarnation of a person who was actually a "fly on the wall" during all the conversations. Highly recommend

m
maipenrai
Mar 24, 2021

Wow! This is an amazing retelling of the saga of Henry VIII and his efforts to marry Anne Boleyn. Told from the point of view of Oliver Cromwell who becomes the second most powerful man in England because he has the ear of the king and enables his marriage. In his fight against Henry and the heretics of the new Protestant faiths, Thomas More does not come off a quite the hero that he has been portrayed in previous depictions. The dialogue and descriptions of the period are so adept, that you sometimes wonder if Ms. Mantel is the reincarnation of a person who was actually a "fly on the wall" during all the conversations. Highly recommend

m
maipenrai
Mar 24, 2021

Wow! This is an amazing retelling of the saga of Henry VIII and his efforts to marry Anne Boleyn. Told from the point of view of Oliver Cromwell who becomes the second most powerful man in England because he has the ear of the king and enables his marriage. In his fight against Henry and the heretics of the new Protestant faiths, Thomas More does not come off a quite the hero that he has been portrayed in previous depictions. The dialogue and descriptions of the period are so adept, that you sometimes wonder if Ms. Mantel is the reincarnation of a person who was actually a "fly on the wall" during all the conversations. Highly recommend

g
gale37
Mar 22, 2021

I read just over half of this book and gave up. I found the grammatical aspect annoying (the whole book is written in the present tense). Like many other readers, I was constantly wondering who "He" is. I get it, it's usually Thomas Cromwell...but not always. The numerous minor characters who are introduced are then seemingly forgotten about. They don't even seem to have a raison d'être. Why introduce them? Just to add to the crowd of characters? I had a pretty good knowledge of this period but the boredom factor was just too prevalent. Rarely do I stop reading a book half way through even if I'm not enthralled but this one simply annoyed and bored me too much. Maybe historical fiction isn't for me even if I love History.

x
xiaojunbpl12
Mar 20, 2021

vol 1 as last read,
felt less dread, and traced smoother tread. 
3 vol all end with behead,
vol 2 blood the most shed.

all cast's origin well fed,
augment the plot later embed.
dramatized what Howard said;
aggrandized how More pled.

n
njkstl
Mar 03, 2021

First book in Thomas Cromwell series (Wolf Hall).

g
gwendae
Feb 19, 2021

first book in Thomas Cromwell Series. I've now read all three: Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies, and The Mirror and the Light. In total they comprise the best-written, most interesting and immersive series I have ever read, since, as a kid, I read Lord of the Rings.

I love, love, love Hilary Mantel's writing. The books are so well-researched, yet not academic at all. they place you right in Tudor England with rich descriptions of everything from court life, international political intrigues, and the lives of the ordinary people.

j
Jane51
Jan 03, 2021

#1 in trilogy

j
josieschneiderSI
Apr 01, 2020

All hail Hilary Mantel, master of bringing the Tudor court to life so palpably you feel you are really there! As a lover of this time period, I will read anything centering on the Tudor dynasty from Shakespeare to the silliest YA romp. However, Mantel's masterpiece outshines them all, following the rise of lowborn Thomas Cromwell as he becomes Henry VIII's closest advisor. Cromwell is often portrayed as a villain in Tudor fiction, so it was fascinating getting to know him, his family, and his political allies and enemies through a protagonist's lens.

Wolf Hall is dense (almost 700 pages) and it can be difficult to keep track of its numerous characters (especially when so many of them have the same first names), but don't let that deter you. If you're a fan of court intrigue, you won't want to miss this winner of the 2009 Booker Prize.

t
tjdickey
Mar 23, 2020

Mantel begins her trilogy with a gripping novel of the rise of Thomas Cromwell in the heady (and dangerous) political landscape of Henry VIII's court. Figures like Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, William Tyndale, and Archbishop Cranmer, jostle for position among the international intrigue of Henry's martial status, reform of the Church, and rivalry between England, France, the Papacy, and the Empire. Imperceptibly, Cromwell "arranges his face" as a courtier and climbs the ladder of power as others fall into disgrace, exile, or even the fires of the executioner. Be prepared to be captivated by this window onto history, and onto the soul of the central character.

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Tw1ggy
Jan 30, 2011

Violence: This title contains Violence.

t
Tw1ggy
Jan 30, 2011

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

t
Tw1ggy
Jan 30, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

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pagetraveler
Jul 05, 2013

pagetraveler thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 16 and 99

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Tw1ggy
Jan 30, 2011

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grannyat55
Nov 25, 2013

Very well written.
But for someone who gets to read just 30 or so minutes at bedtime, it was too long - nearly 700 pages!

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pagetraveler
Jul 05, 2013

Based on English history and the time of the Tudors. Takes the point of view of Thomas Cromwell to tell the story of Henry the VIII and his 1st and 2nd wives and his relationship with the church.

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mudflapflossy
Jul 17, 2012

You learn nothing about men by snubbing them and crushing their pride. You must ask them what it is they can do in this world, that they alone can do.

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