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Wolf Hall: A Novel (Man Booker Prize) by…
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Wolf Hall: A Novel (Man Booker Prize) (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Hilary Mantel

Series: Wolf Hall Trilogy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
11,547617438 (3.99)5 / 2140
Assuming the power recently lost by the disgraced Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell counsels a mercurial Henry VIII on the latter's efforts to marry Anne Boleyn against the wishes of Rome, a successful endeavor that comes with a dangerous price.
Member:coreyshum
Title:Wolf Hall: A Novel (Man Booker Prize)
Authors:Hilary Mantel
Info:Henry Holt and Co. (2009), Edition: 1st American Edition, Hardcover, 560 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (2009)

  1. 141
    Dissolution by C. J. Sansom (gypsysmom)
  2. 143
    The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell (kidzdoc)
    kidzdoc: This is another excellent British historical novel.
  3. 100
    The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers by Margaret George (napaxton)
  4. 123
    Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (zhejw)
  5. 91
    The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir (ijustgetbored)
  6. 70
    An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears (souci)
    souci: A look at the machinations behind the throne as England passes out of placid Catholicism moving fitfully and violently towards Protestantism.
  7. 50
    Henry VIII by J. J. Scarisbrick (robeik)
    robeik: Somewhat academic, but chock-full of detail on Henry's divorce proceedings from Catherine and the Roman Catholic Church.
  8. 41
    Abundance by Sena Jeter Naslund (bell7)
    bell7: Both biographical novels explore well-known historical events through the eyes of one sympathetic character close to the action.
  9. 41
    Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII by David Starkey (souloftherose)
  10. 30
    Virgin and the Crab: Sketches, Fables and Mysteries from the early life of John Dee and Elizabeth Tudor by Robert Parry (RochieRochel)
  11. 20
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: This is another book that really brings a period of history to life around you.
  12. 20
    The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel (guurtjesboekenkast)
  13. 31
    The Marriage of Meggotta by Edith Pargeter (Osbaldistone)
  14. 42
    Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel (otherstories)
  15. 20
    The Life of Thomas More by Peter Ackroyd (napaxton)
  16. 10
    Hild by Nicola Griffith (wandering_star)
  17. 10
    The Corn King and the Spring Queen by Naomi Mitchison (Anonymous user)
  18. 21
    Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd (guurtjesboekenkast)
  19. 43
    Dark Fire by C. J. Sansom (brenzi)
    brenzi: Another book concerning the Henry VIII and Thomas Chromwell.
  20. 22
    A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury by Edith Pargeter (ansate)
    ansate: Different time period, but another fantastically written historical novel

(see all 24 recommendations)

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English (601)  Dutch (6)  German (4)  Swedish (3)  Italian (2)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (622)
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Wolf Hall is a 2009 historical novel by English author Hilary Mantel, published by Fourth Estate, named after the Seymour family's seat of Wolfhall, or Wulfhall, in Wiltshire. Set in the period from 1500 to 1535, Wolf Hall is a sympathetic fictionalised biography documenting the rapid rise to power of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII through to the death of Sir Thomas More. The novel won both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.[1][2] In 2012, The Observer named it as one of "The 10 best historical novels".[3]

The book is the first in a trilogy; the sequel Bring Up the Bodies was published in 2012.[4] The last book in the trilogy is The Mirror and the Light (2020), which covers the last four years of Cromwell's life.[5]
  MUHAMMADHARIS | Oct 13, 2021 |
I started Wolf Hall on my Kindle a couple of times and then put it aside as I was finding it hard to make headway.I kept hearing how others enjoyed it--so I decided to buy a print copy. I've been reading a lot fewer ebooks lately. I don't have the same relationship with the electronic version, so I've gone back to print as my preference. Maybe it was the timing of when I started it previously--sometimes you have to let a book sit for a while. It took me several years between readings of Scarlett Letter for it to go from one of my least favorite novels to my favorite.

This time I fell in love with Wolf Hall--it may have also helped that I watched the fantastic BBC version with Mark Rylance. Rylance will forever be my Cromwell. I also took my time with this book and forced myself to slow down. And then sometimes after reading a scene I would watch the same scene on BBC or look up the historical person on the Internet.

And I took the time to think about the time, the place, the points before and after in history. There are novels you just read, and there are ones that you study. This one you study--but that doesn't make it in any sense a dry book. This book is fantastic. And if I ever said, "Geez not another Henry the VIII retelling..." This book reminded me that in the biggest stories, tragedies, moments in history--like any good Shakespeare play there are many kinds of retellings. This is one the of best.

( )
  auldhouse | Sep 30, 2021 |
I tried.
I really, really tried.
Mantel's style is very unique, and her use of language is brilliant. The dialogue and narrative flows effortlessly and it's very easy to pound out 20-30 pages before you can blink.

But I couldn't enjoy myself, or follow the story in the least. I barely had any idea what was going on, why somebody was all of a sudden in the scene, who was talking to who. Some books I get a picture perfect image of what's going on - Wolf Hall is the exact opposite. I'm sure Tudor and English history buffs would absolutely love this, but I think I'm in over my head. I won't continue the trilogy at this point, Wolf Hall felt too much like homework I was too dumb to understand. ( )
1 vote hskey | Aug 30, 2021 |
Bit confusing in parts ( )
  SarahStenhouse | Aug 20, 2021 |
Oh my gosh I finished it! This was my mostly companion driving to and from the rec center to jog in the cold/dark season. Is the title a shaggy dog joke? I am not used to audio books and definitely felt the difference in attention and memory - I couldn't flip back to verify the date of the current chapter or look up a character name.

The book is expansive and feels like it offers us a way to step into Tudor England. Thomas Cromwell is envisioned as the best possible Machiavellian courtier, if there can be such a thing. He's loyal and scrupulous and has a shadowy past. He dotes on his children and his protogees and his little dogs, all named Bella. He served and loved the deposed Cardinal Woolsey and sticks by his prince, ol' Henry VIII.

I enjoyed being here. I may need to re-read it on paper in the future. ( )
  Je9 | Aug 10, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 601 (next | show all)
Hilary Mantel sets a new standard for historical fiction with her latest novel Wolf Hall, a riveting portrait of Thomas Cromwell, chief advisor to King Henry VIII and a significant political figure in Tudor England. Mantel’s crystalline style, piercing eye and interest in, shall we say, the darker side of human nature, together with a real respect for historical accuracy, make this novel an engrossing, enveloping read.
added by clamairy | editBookPage, Lauren Bufferd (Mar 2, 2011)
 
hard to read but enjoyable
added by AAGP | editSlate Audio Book Club (Mar 15, 2010)
 
A sequel is plainly in view, as we are given glimpses of the rival daughters who plague the ever-more-gross monarch’s hectic search for male issue. The ginger-haired baby Elizabeth is mainly a squalling infant in the period of the narrative, which chiefly covers the years 1527–35, but in the figure of her sibling Mary, one is given a chilling prefiguration of the coming time when the bonfires of English heretics will really start to blaze in earnest. Mantel is herself of Catholic background and education, and evidently not sorry to be shot of it (as she might herself phrase the matter), so it is generous of her to show the many pettinesses and cruelties with which the future “Bloody Mary” was visited by the callous statecraft and churchmanship of her father’s court. Cromwell is shown trying only to mitigate, not relieve, her plight. And Mary’s icy religiosity he can forgive, but not More’s. Anyone who has been bamboozled by the saccharine propaganda of A Man for All Seasons should read Mantel’s rendering of the confrontation between More and his interlocutors about the Act of Succession, deposing the pope as the supreme head of the Church in England.
 
Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall is a startling achievement, a brilliant historical novel focused on the rise to power of a figure exceedingly unlikely, on the face of things, to arouse any sympathy at all.
 
Thomas Cromwell remains a controversial and mysterious figure. Mantel has filled in the blanks plausibly, brilliantly. “Wolf Hall” has epic scale but lyric texture. Its 500-plus pages turn quickly, winged and falconlike... [It] is both spellbinding and believable.
 

» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mantel, Hilaryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mehren, HegeTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bridge, AndyIllustratie Omslagsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
slater, simonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willems, IneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
'There are three kinds of scenes, one called the tragic, second the comic, third the satyric. Their decorations are different and unlike each other in scheme. Tragic scenes are delineated with columns, pediments, statues and other objects suited to kings; comic scenes exhibit private dwellings, with balconies and views representing rows of windows, after the manner of ordinary dwellings; satyric scenes are decorated with trees, caverns, mountains and other rustic objects delineated in landscape style.'

Vitruvius, De Architectura, on the theatre, c. 27 B.C.
Dedication
To my singular friend Mary Robertson this be given.
First words
"So now get up."

Felled, dazed, silent, he has fallen; knocked full length on the cobbles of the yard. His head turns sideways; his eyes are turned towards the gate, as if someone might arrive to help him out. One blow, properly placed, could kill him now.
Quotations
The Cardinal, a Bachelor of Arts at fifteen, a Bachelor of Theology by his mid-twenties, is learned in the law but does not like its delays; he cannot quite accept that real property cannot be changed into money, with the same speed and ease with which he changes a wafer into the body of Christ.
"You're sweeter to look at than the cardinal", he says. - "That's the smallest compliment a woman ever received."
It is surprising how international is the language of old men, swapping tips on salves for aches, commiserating with petty wretchedness and discussing the whims and demands of their wives.
"Tell us, Master Cromwell, you've been abroad. Are they particularly an ungrateful nation? It seems to me that they like change for the sake of it?" - "I don't think it's the English. I think it's just people. They always hope there may be something better."
Christ, he thinks, by my age I ought to know. You don't get on by being original. You don't get on by being bright. You don't get on by being strong. You get on by being a subtle crook; somehow he thinks that's what Norris is, and he feels an irrational dislike taking root, and he tries to dismiss it, because he prefers his dislikes rational.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Assuming the power recently lost by the disgraced Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell counsels a mercurial Henry VIII on the latter's efforts to marry Anne Boleyn against the wishes of Rome, a successful endeavor that comes with a dangerous price.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
How many Thomases?
How many Annes? Enough for
A Reformation?
(thorold)
Hilary Mantel's
character resurrection
of Thomas Cromwell.
(passion4reading)
Fast-paced, well-written
political thriller. Twist?
Set in Tudor times.
(passion4reading)
Thomas Cromwell: from
historical figure to
man of flesh and blood.
(passion4reading)
A court of bared fangs,
Who will survive the scheming,
In this hall of wolves?
(hillaryrose7)

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