Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1) by Hilary Mantel

Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)

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. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile...


Details Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)

TitleWolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)
ISBN9780007230204
Author
Release DateMar 30th, 2017
PublisherHarperCollins Publishers Ltd
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages653 pages
GenreHistorical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Abandoned
Rating

Reviews Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)

  • Wendy
    2011-01-22
    Have you ever been with a group of people when someone tells a joke and the rest of the group thinks it's hilarious but you just don't get it? Wolf Hall was that way for me. So many people think it's brilliant while I couldn't maintain enough interest to finish it.I love historical fiction, especially from this time period, so I expected to really like this one. I thought that telling the story of Henry VIII from the viewpoint of Cromwell was an ...
  • Lewis Weinstein
    2012-01-07
    I just started Wolf Hall, and I find the relentless use of "he" to be extremely irritating. In the first several chapters, there are dozens of instances where it is not clear who is speaking. Every once in a while, as if recognizing the problem she has created, Mantel uses the phrase "he, Cromwell." Why not just say Cromwell?Unless there is some good reason which I can't imagine, this sort of obfuscation is just lazy writing which disrespects the...
  • Teresa
    2010-02-02
    The thing to remember when starting this book is that 99% percent of the time the pronoun 'he' refers to Cromwell, even at times when the sentence structure makes it seems like 'he' would be someone else. It took me a short while to realize this, but once I did, I was fine. You are in Cromwell's head; you see everything from his perspective. As he reacts to others' reactions of him (many times, he is bemused to see how he is thought of) another l...
  • Paul Bryant
    2012-06-04
    For the first 100 pages I was like a Monkees song, you know the one -[Cue cute organ/guitar intro]I thought great historical novels about the 16th century were only true in fairy talesMeant for someone else but not for meMmm, historical novelists were out to get meThat's the way it seemedDisappointment haunted all my dreamsThen I read Wolf Hall ! Now I'm a believer!Not a trace of doubt in my mind!Ooh I'm in love!Ooh Hilary Mantel I couldn’t lea...
  • Riku Sayuj
    2011-12-01
    I treat this novel as a qualified failure of an experiment (qualified since I am open to the possibility that the failure was mine) and I sincerely wish that Mantel does not win the Booker this year - I just cannot bring myself to spend anymore time with her lifeless narrator.More than anything else Wolf Hall seemed to me to be a literary experiment - on how closely a woman can get into a man's mind, and as far as I am concerned, a qualified fail...
  • Jeffrey Keeten
    2014-06-23
    “Suppose within each book there is another book, and within every letter on every page another volume constantly unfolding; but these volumes take no space on the desk. Suppose knowledge could be reduced to a quintessence, held within a picture, a sign, held within a place which is no place. Suppose the human skull were to become capacious, spaces opening inside it, humming chambers like beehives.” Thomas Cromwell by Hans Holbein. Cromwell wa...
  • Will Byrnes
    2015-03-18
    The fate of peoples is made like this, two men in small rooms. Forget the coronations, the conclaves of cardinals, the pomp and processions. This is how the world changes: a counter pushed across a table, a pen stroke that alters the force of a phrase, a woman’s sigh as she passes and leaves on the air a trail of orange flower or rose water; her hand pulling close the bed curtain, the discrete sigh of flesh against flesh. Uneasy lies the head t...
  • Emily O
    2010-12-14
    Do you ever wonder about why people choose to read the books they do? Well, I can tell you, I read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel because it won the Book Prize For Fiction in 2009. You see, The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt was nominated for the Booker in 2009, but did not win. Curious to see what book could beat one of my favorite books of all time, I looked up Wolf Hall. And what do you know, it's another piece of historical fiction set in England ...
  • Ana
    2016-01-21
    BR with Hayat 2.5 StarsThese Tudor memes are amazing. They're worthy of losing your head over. Dear oh dear where do I begin... I've always been fascinated by the Tudor Dynasty, especially Queen Elizabeth I. And since I'm obsessed with Anne Boleyn, I thought this would be a perfect book for me. It's well-written... but sadly far from perfect. Reading this book was no easy task. Wolf Hall isn't terribly difficult to understand, as some claim. ...
  • karen
    2010-03-22
    hilary mantel is such a tease. she calls her book wolf hall because she knows i have a crush on jane seymour, and then she just blah blah blahs about thomas cromwell for 500 pages, feeding me only tiny bites of jane. sigh. me and hil have always had a rocky history.i have read four of her books now, and have only really liked one; beyond black. but i keep trying. this one was for class, but i probably would have read it anyway, because this summe...
  • Kaylene
    2012-05-19
    Unfortunately I gave up on this book at page 84. I'm really disappointed that I was unable to get into this book as so many have raved about it. I just found the prose exceptionally dense and confusing. At times I was confused as to who was 'speaking' and couldn't follow it.Oh well.....next!
  •  ~Geektastic~
    2011-06-02
    I have always been fascinated by the history of England under the Tudors, particularly Henry VIII. I chalk this up partly to a morbid fascination, and partly to a genuine desire to understand the circumstances leading up to the Golden Age of Elizabeth I. (Her family’s Whig hatred of Elizabeth I is one of the few things I hold against Jane Austen.) This being said, I have hidden plot spoilers, but I will not be held accountable for the “spoile...
  • Bookdragon Sean
    2014-03-30
    Hilary Mantel sure knows how to write; her prose is eloquent and sophisticated. Stylistically speaking, she is very distinctive. Very few writers wield grammar the way she does; she uses every means of punctuation at her disposal to achieve real effectual writing. At some points her writing is simply beautiful, but there are also some real difficulties associated with it. This is a hard novel to read. It chronicles the life of Thomas Cromwell, an...
  • Jennifer (aka EM)
    2012-08-04
    First off, I find the whole notion of the monarchy - any monarchy - absurd. And also, despite being a citizen of a Commonwealth nation with Her Royal Majesty's mug plastered all over my bills and coins, the Union Jack incorporated into my provincial flag, and a mom who dragged me out of bed at 4 a.m. to watch Lady Diana, Princess of Wales walk to her doom - err, groom - I am not, nor have I ever been, a monarchist.I honestly don't remember what k...
  • A.J. Howard
    2010-02-15
    One of the most interesting things about history is thinking about perspective. Very few people lived their lives with an intention of being known as a villain of history. Yet I think all of us fall into the trap of thinking of the past in moralistic terms sometimes. This is a function of generations of storytelling and cultural indoctrination. There are facts that we don't ever necessarily learn, or at least can remember learning, that we don't ...
  • Emily
    2009-12-07
    Wolf Hall is the kind of book that gets better the more you think about it. Its protagonist is Thomas Cromwell: a villain in A Man for All Seasons but here a man with a family, a career, and a sharp way of thinking. He doesn't want to be a saint; he wants to apply his shrewdness and hard-won experience to make the best of a bad world. His feelings towards his family, as portrayed here, make him sympathetic, even likeable.The book introduces all t...
  • Annet
    2015-05-16
    ‘Henry stirs into life. ‘Do I retain you for what is easy? Jesus pity my simplicity. I have promoted you to a place in this kingdom that no one, no one of your breeding has ever held in the whole of the history of this realm.’ He drops his voice. ‘Do you think it is for your personal beauty? The charm of your presence? I keep you, Master Cromwell, because you are as cunning as a bag of serpents…..’’'Someone asks him if he wants to c...
  • Diane
    2011-11-29
    I am a reader who thinks British history is fascinating, and I've long had a soft spot for the Tudors. That wacky King Henry VIII and his six wives! And that wacky Protestant Reformation that changed the world! What an amazing time!Sure, this period has been much-written about, but I love the fresh approach that Hilary Mantel takes in her Wolf Hall novels, which is to tell the story of Anne Boleyn's rise and fall from the perspective of Thomas Cr...
  • Jean
    2013-04-12
    Everyone knows about the Tudors. Even people not particularly interested in history know the bare bones of the story, and people world-wide all seem to have heard about Henry VIII. I suspect it is one of the most popular periods to study in English history with its cast of colourful characters, intrigues, passions, extremes, extravagances, important political and religious changes and mind-blowingly violent events. Why then was Wolf Hall such a s...
  • Steve
    2015-06-18
    15 January, 2008Dear Ms. Mantel:Thank you for submitting your manuscript entitled Wolf Hall. After careful consideration, we have chosen not to publish your work in its current form. However, we believe that with certain modifications, our mutual interests may be well-served. The senior editor in our Business and Management Division, Lee Gultender, has what we hope is an intriguing idea for you to entertain. He proposes that you use the same main...
  • Glenn Sumi
    2015-12-12
    I don’t have much to add to the excellent reviews on here about the Booker Prize-winning first volume in Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy.Indeed, I consulted several of those reviews while reading this lengthy tome, especially at the beginning, just to help orient myself and see if I was the only one having a tough time with the names, characters and historical allusions. I wasn’t! Mantel certainly doesn’t "write down"; we have to ...
  • Mark
    2011-12-31
    Putting this book onto my history shelf stuck rather in my throat. It is a brilliant story, wonderfully descriptive and emotive. It creates a great panoply of historical figures but falls far short of actually being just to them. By that i mean Mantel quite clearly sets out to unwrite the hagiographical picture catholic tradition has given to Thomas More. She points out, quite rightly, his brutal treatment of 'heretics' and his lack of compassion...
  • ·Karen·
    2012-06-10
    First off I'd like to say without the least reservation that Ms Mantel thoroughly deserves all the accolades she has garnered for this novel - and there have been some. She herself describes the process of writing it in terms of a sustained hallucination, as if she were in a film, occupying the same space as the main protagonist, with a ghostly overlap, watching the action unfold through the lens of his eyes. She describes her exhilaration once s...
  • Lisa
    2010-02-23
    This book has inspired me to create a new bookshelf - one for unfinished books. I've been hearing a lot about this book. It's reaping praise, doing well on bookseller lists, and even won the 2009 Man Booker Prize. When I was at the library the other day, I saw this at the Book Stop and stood there for several minutes leafing through it, debating whether to get it. That should have been a red flag! I'll know next time that if it takes me that long...
  • Matt
    2013-03-09
    Frankly, most of what I know about the Tudors comes from watching Showtime’s The Tudors via my Amazon Prime account. So far, what I’ve learned from the Tudors by watching The Tudors is this: Boobs!!That said, it is very well likely that the problem with Hillary Mantel’s Wolf Hall is me. After all, it is a hugely popular, elegantly written, Man Booker Prize winning novel. Far be it from me to criticize it. But I will, since I’m here. Wolf ...
  • Simon
    2011-04-15
    Like many others, I thought this book was utterly brilliant. The pleasure of reading it was palpable, a tingling in my fingers. That kind of pleasure put me in mind of another book that provoked it, Yehoshua’s A Journey to the End of the Millenium, but I thought to myself, those books are nothing like each other. Then I realized that in terms of subject matter, they are not so dissimilar after all. Both revolve largely around the search for cla...
  • Darwin8u
    2012-11-12
    “It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires.” ― Hilary Mantel, Wolf HallBrilliant. This is one of those rare novels that hits me on almost every level. The writing is crisp, deep and unsettling all at the same time. The narrative leads without pushing. Its prose sings but never strays into cliche. Every thread and sinew of this novel seems destined to weave into t...
  • Des
    2009-09-30
    Am joining the club of haters of the imprecise 'he' insertions. Never got a clue who is speaking or thinking what. This book is not superior in craft and not superior in story line. Not sure why this got any prices.And changing time lines has to add value, to do it for the sake of it, is annoying to say the least. And quotation marks as well as commas at the right places seem to be a luxury these days.
  • Nandakishore Varma
    2013-07-06
    The English are a people, I’ve found, who are obsessed with kings and kingship, whether positively or negatively (one has only to look at the media hype surrounding the birth of the royal baby and the jokes on twitter about the same). Englishmen love their kings and queens, but are also extremely critical of them – most of which is expressed as underplayed sardonic British humour. This is why, I think, writers keep on dipping into British his...