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Very Good. 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 si tting on a plush cushion eating larks' tongues, and all the gaolers will ow e him money. ' England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no h eir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorc e the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need come s Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor. Cromwe ll is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political ge nius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with a delicate and deadly expert ise in manipulating people and events. Ruthless in pursuit of his own inter ests, he is as ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His re forming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament a nd a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages. Fro m 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, suffering and c ourage.
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