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Amazon Best of the Month, October 2009: No character in the canon has been writ larger than Henry VIII, but that didn't stop Hilary Mantel. She strides through centuries, past acres of novels, histories, biographies, and plays--even past Henry himself--confident in the knowledge that to recast history's most mercurial sovereign, it's not the King she needs to see, but one of the King's most mysterious agents. Enter Thomas Cromwell, a self-made man and remarkable polymath who ascends to the King's right hand. Rigorously pragmatic and forward-thinking, Cromwell has little interest in what motivates his Majesty, and although he makes way for Henry's marriage to the infamous Anne Boleyn, it's the future of a free England that he honors above all else and hopes to secure. Mantel plots with a sleight of hand, making full use of her masterful grasp on the facts without weighing down her prose. The opening cast of characters and family trees may give initial pause to some readers, but persevere: the witty, whip-smart lines volleying the action forward may convince you a short stay in the Tower of London might not be so bad... provided you could bring a copy of Wolf Hall along. --Anne Bartholomew --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Henry VIII's challenge to the church's power with his desire to divorce his queen and marry Anne Boleyn set off a tidal wave of religious, political and societal turmoil that reverberated throughout 16th-century Europe. Mantel boldly attempts to capture the sweeping internecine machinations of the times from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell, the lowborn man who became one of Henry's closest advisers. Cromwell's actual beginnings are historically ambiguous, and Mantel admirably fills in the blanks, portraying Cromwell as an oft-beaten son who fled his father's home, fought for the French, studied law and was fluent in French, Latin and Italian. Mixing fiction with fact, Mantel captures the atmosphere of the times and brings to life the important players: Henry VIII; his wife, Katherine of Aragon; the bewitching Boleyn sisters; and the difficult Thomas More, who opposes the king. Unfortunately, Mantel also includes a distracting abundance of dizzying detail and Henry's all too voluminous political defeats and triumphs, which overshadows the more winning story of Cromwell and his influence on the events that led to the creation of the Church of England. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Hillary is such a good writer, I just ordered two more of her books.Published 18 hours ago by Rand O. Jennings
Not an easy read - but fascinating account of the time period told through Cromwell. Also glad this one was read on kindle bc I was constantly looking up names (so many characters... Read morePublished 21 hours ago by Anne Donohoe
I am only about 10% of the way into this book which I am reading on my phone. After watching the mini-series (which I thought was terrific), I wanted to know more about the people... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Carla J
It is an insightful portrayal of of Thomas Cromwell. It is a little hard to follow because it occurs completely within the hyperactive and often disjointed thoughts of his mind.Published 3 days ago by Karen Bair
A well realized world is constructed around familiar characters and the author succeeds in breathing new life into an oft repeated narrative. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Jamie Rochford
I loved this book! The characters are so well developed and engaging. I cannot recommend this series enough.Published 4 days ago by Davi
I'm so annoyed that Hilary Mantel decided to use the pronoun "he" without indicating who "he" is!! Read morePublished 4 days ago by Penina
"Wolf Hall" was a best seller for a long time, but I was a little disappointed in it. probably because the main character, Cromwell, isn't a particularly likable person. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Norma Hayes