Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall

Book - 2011 | Harper Perennial trade paperback edition
Average Rating:
Rate this:
95
3
2
 …

England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. 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 oppose him. The quest for the king's freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum and a deadlock.

Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. The son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a bully and a charmer, Cromwell has broken all the rules of a rigid society in his rise to power, and is preparing to break some more. Rising from personal disaster - the loss of his young family and of Wolsey, his beloved patron - he picks his way deftly through a court where -man is wolf to man.' Pitting himself against parliament, the political establishment and the papacy, he is prepared to reshape England to his own and Henry's desires.

In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, Wolf Hall re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death.

Publisher: Toronto :, Harper Perennial,, 2011
Edition: Harper Perennial trade paperback edition
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9781554687787
Branch Call Number: F MAN
Characteristics: xvii, 653 pages : genealogical tables ; 23 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
g
gwendae
Feb 19, 2021

first book in Thomas Cromwell Series

j
Jane51
Jan 03, 2021

#1 in trilogy

s
SKYLERks
Dec 09, 2020

First 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.

a
Audrey_1974
Aug 25, 2019

Part of former US President, Barack Obama's summer reading list for 2019.

a
AndCo
Jun 27, 2019

I loved this book (and also Bring Up the Bodies). I am just puzzled that anyone found either book boring. I read both of them feeling like I WAS Thomas Cromwell. Made the time come alive for me.

m
MichelleBees
Dec 20, 2018

a treasure!

It took me ages to finish it and I felt like celebrating when I did. I loved the BBC miniseries and I did appreciate the first and last third of it, but it was hard to get into the groove of this book. However, the detail, the portrayal of Cromwell and the extraordinary work that went into researching this book is astounding. Her prose is dry, often extremely subtle and witty. It is as slippery as Cromwell himself. I wish I loved it more than I did. I will still read Bring up the Bodies.

p
Papadog
Nov 28, 2018

Wow, great title and that's about it.

Despite all the critical acclaim it's just a very boring read. The potential is amazing, and I imagine the research and work that went into it was substantial, but the writing was just missing some ingredient to make it interesting. Also, an annoying feature is that the pronoun "he" is almost exclusively reserved for Thomas Cromwell, which may seem like a neat literary device, it is a little confusing at first, and then just plain annoying. Fantastic idea for a book but the writing just does not follow through, it became more and more difficult to pick it up and about exactly half way through I stopped...well, after 350 pages enough is enough.
PS The TV series could be really good though...

View All Comments

Notices

Add Notices
t
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.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
p
pagetraveler
Jul 05, 2013

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

t
Tw1ggy
Jan 30, 2011

Summary

Add a Summary
g
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!

p
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.

Quotes

Add a Quote
m
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.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at RPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top