Published Date: April 1, 2010
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
Author: Hilary Mantel
Genres: Historical Fiction, British Literature
You can read the summary of Wolf Hall here.
It’s no secret that I love Tudor England. If it has to do with Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell, The York or The Lancaster clan, then consider me on board. There’s just something about their history, their struggle, that is so convoluted and wonderful. Think about it, Henry VIII was so sprung for a little twit that he basically rewrote history and religion just to get into her pants only to realize she was #psycho. Could you imagine him in this day and age???? Yeah, me either.
Unlike my favorite novels on this subject, mostly written by Philippa Gregory, Wolf Hall takes a different approach. Written in third person, WHICH I LOVED!!!!, and from Thomas Cromwell’s point of view, we learn what life was like behind the scenes. What I gleaned from this book about Cromwell completely changed my thoughts about him. I always though Cromwell was a toad, now I realize he might have been the smartest one out of them all. I realize he died a traitor BUT that treasonous act? Setting Henry VIII up with an ugly princess. Y’all, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried. Cromwell thought Anne of Cleves would be a good match for the entire kingdom, but Henry thought she looked like a dog so he annulled his marriage and killed Cromwell. Henry regretted the latter, not the former.
It’s no wonder Mantel won the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award! The writing was superb!! I was surprised how well it flowed, considering the lack of dialogue. Don’t get me wrong: there was plenty of dialogue. It just wasn’t choked with it. *sighs* I just….the history and writing…everything… it was excellent! I am so glad I decided to finally read this novel. I’ve had Bring Up the Bodies, which is the follow up to Hall, for a while now; I cannot believe it took me so long to read this!
Tudor England history buffs: READ THIS BOOK!