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.' England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, ...Read MoreWinner 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.' 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.Read Less
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A marvelous book - I imagine reading it over and over. Hilary Mantel has produced a look at the Renaissance in Britain that was so engaging, I had trouble putting the book down but I didn't want it to end, so I rationed my reading. I wanted to move in with Thomas and take care of him.
Jul 5, 2013
Great historical novel
Mantel did her homework in researching the historical background of this novel. The characters come alive and they reflect accurately what we know about the real historical individuals. Great stuff although the revisionist scholars of the English Reformation will hate it.
Feb 28, 2013
One of the best books I have ever read, not just one of the best historical novels. Elegant writing, masterful characterizations, and fascinating plot.
Feb 21, 2013
History with a different slant
Well worth a read; it gives you a view from the 'man in the street' at the time of Henry 8th as well as the goings on in court and behind the scenes.
Feb 14, 2013
I don't get it
I do not see what everyone is raving about with this book. I am about 200 pages into the book and it is hard to read, hard to follow, there is no time line of what is happening and the time frames keep changing. I had to read next to the computer to continually look up events, people and timelines just to make sense of what was happening. I would not recommend this book.
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