Wolf Hall: A Novel
In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political power
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 opposes him. The quest for the king's freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum.
Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?
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, the novel 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.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - joeydag - LibraryThing
Fascinating experience. "Words, words, just words." The style struck me as almost Shakespearean in that the people are so mysteriously multi-faced. Class issues abound. The struggle for clarity and for masking the truth. I will be looking for the follow-up novel at the library. Read full review
ExcellentUser Review - browneyed girl - Tesco
I bought 2 copies of this book for my daughter and myself. We'd both watched the television series but thought the book was much better - Hilary Mantel's mix of historical facts and fiction bought the period to life. I also bought the sequel Bring Up The Bodies which was equally as good. Read full review