- Also check our best rated Romance Book reviews
Wolf Hall Paperback – 4 Mar 2010
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
‘This is a beautiful and profoundly human book, a dark mirror held up to our own world. And the fact that its conclusion takes place after the curtain has fallen only proves that Hilary Mantel is one of our bravest as well as our most brilliant writers.’ Olivia Laing, Observer
‘As soon as I opened the book I was gripped. I read it almost non-stop. When I did have to put it down, I was full of regret that the story was over, a regret I still feel. This is a wonderful and intelligently imagined retelling of a familiar tale from an unfamiliar angle.’ The Times
‘Mantel is a writer who sees the skull beneath the skin, the worm in the bud, the child abuse in the suburbs and the rat in the mattress…Turning her attention to Tudor England, she makes that world at once so concrete you can smell the rain-drenched wool cloaks…This is a splendidly ambitious book…I wait greedily for the sequel, but “Wolf Hall” is already a feast.’ Daily Telegraph
‘A compelling and humane investigation of the cost of ambition.’ Guardian
‘Mantel’s ability to pick out vivid scenes from sources and give them life within her fiction is quite exceptional…Vividly alive.’ London Review of Books
‘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
‘Superb new novel…A second volume is apparently planned; I await it with all the serenity of Henry VIII outside Anne Boleyn’s bedroom door.’ Nina Caplan, Time Out
‘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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
In this staggeringly brilliant novel, Hilary Mantel brings the opulent, brutal world of the Tudors to bloody, glittering life. It is the backdrop to the rise and rise of Thomas Cromwell: lowborn boy, charmer, bully, master of deadly intrigue and, finally, most powerful of Henry VIII's courtiers.
Both winners of the Man Booker Prize and already hugely successful stage plays, WOLF HALL and its sequel BRING UP THE BODIES have now been transformed into a BBC television series starring Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis, bringing history to life for a whole new audience
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
Wolf Hall is a book about Thomas Cromwell. It is told from his point of view, but not in the first person. This creates a narrative in which we see the world through Thomas’ eyes, be where he is, know something of what he knows, but we can also pull back and see him, asking questions of himself as he sorts out the lives of others. Thomas in this version is a ‘fixer’, the supreme pragmatist who does what has to be done to whoever needs sorting out. His memory is a blessing in this work, but a curse as he copes with the loss of his wife and daughters. The loss of his family haunts this book, as does his awareness of ghosts of the past, those who lived in a house before him, and Cardinal Wolsey’s enormous personality. He copes with the women of the court, Anne, Katherine, Mary and the others that serve them with caution and sometimes confusion, seeing them as another problem to solve as well as possible actors in his scenarios. King Henry is sometimes a child to be placated, an impossible, querulous dictator. Cromwell has his measure in this book, but remains under no illusions that he must proceed with caution to avoid potentially fatal confrontations.
This is not a perfect book. It takes its time to get anywhere, and sometimes gets bogged down under the weight of its constant thinking, reaction and action, plotting and planning. Yet it is a human book in its diverse progress, the tangents and confusions that we can understand. Life in this period could be and often was short and brutal, and this book shows us how and why. Mantel has said that she was keen to look at the events of Henry’s reign through other eyes than the wives, the King himself, the minor functionaries of court. Thomas Cromwell was the supreme fixer of problems and situations. This book shows you how and why, as well as the human thought processes behind his survival and success in a dangerous time.
Immediately, I was struck by Hilary Mantel's remarkable ability to capture life of that time - making it seem strangely familiar, despite the fact it was hundreds of years ago. She made it all seem so real, largely due to her richness of detail, not to mention expert knowledge of the era. The little notes of humour throughout are what really bring it to life - so often, history is treated with utmost seriousness, yet Mantel is absolutely correct - I'm sure people were cracking jokes and saying silly things in the Tudor era too!
The relationships were likewise beautifully illustrated, and the death of Cromwell's wife, genuinely moving. For me, this was one of the most impressive moments of the book, as Mantel captures grief so powerfully and yet so simply.
One thing I did find strange though - the way Mantel uses pronouns throughout the book. I pondered for ages about why it jarred on me every so often, and I think it's because the 3rd person narrative is so intimate, it almost feels like a 1st person in places. Then, when she uses 'he' again, rather than 'I', it is momentarily confusing. I found myself wondering what the book would have been like had she just told it in first person through Cromwell's eyes - my personal belief is that it might have worked better.
Also, although the richness of the detail was spectacular, there were times when I felt that it held up the narrative slightly. I appreciate her desire to capture every moment of these tumultuous historic events, but at times, I did find them a wee bit boring.
However, for the most part, I was really into this book, and loved the character of Cromwell to bits. A man from a humble background, unfailingly pragmatic and clever - fabulous stuff!
All set against the precarious world of Henry VIII's court, where the king may turn on you at any time:
'The cardinal says, do you think this is a tilting ground? Do you think there are rules, protocols, judges to see fair play? One day, when you are still adjusting your harness, you will look up and see him thundering at you downhill.'
Planning to read the sequel once I've had a breather!
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category