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Wolf Hall: A Novel Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Even the title of the book is more suggestive than straight-forward. Wolf Hall is the seat of the Seymour clan, but no scene in the book takes place there. The Seymours make cameos, and Cromwell takes note of them, but Wolf Hall is a distant building for most of the book. Instead, it represents Cromwell's forward thinking. He is grateful to the Boleyns for his rise in court and favor, but he does not allow himself to depend on them. He tells his son, "...it's all very well planning what you will do in six months, what you will do in a year, but it's no good at all if you don't have a plan for tomorrow." And Cromwell always, always has a plan for tomorrow.
I am not sure if I fully believe in Mantel's reconstruction of Cromwell as a man who wanted only to reform England, and was so forward-thinking in his ideals.Read more ›
I'm not an expert on the history from the time of Henry the 8th though it's certainly one of the most heavily mined topics in fiction. I began this book with only a basic knowledge of the history and was not familiar with the protagonist of the story Thomas Cromwell.
The novel has a short preamble from Thomas Cromwell's youth and then traces his rise from a common son of a blacksmith to one of the most powerful men in England. Through Cromwell, we experience Henry, Anne Boleyn, Thomas More, Thomas Wolsey and many, many other characters of the time. The main historical focus of the novel is the events leading to Henry's second marriage and the extreme philosophical and popular debate and passion that it causes.
The author deals with the events in great detail and focuses both on the debate, the reaction of the people and the intricate political wheeling and dealing. Mantel immerses us in the time and explains all sides very thoroughly. While I've mentioned that it's detailed, it doesn't really lag as for a 600+ page hisorical novel, it moves very quickly.
Thomas Cromwell is the star of the novel and through force of will, financial competence, good judgement and political savvy, he rises to power and wealth. He moves from poor child to a man with significant contacts and talent in the mercantile world to top advisor to Lord Chancellor Thomas Wolsey to ultimately Master Secretary to Henry the 8th.Read more ›
In Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel takes a slice of Tudor history and allows the reader to view it through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell, who rose through life from his origins as the son of a blacksmith to become the chief minister of King Henry VIII. From his humble origins, he manages to become an important advisor to the ill-fated Cardinal Wolsey, who, as everyone knows, started his downhill slide because of his inability to provide Henry VIII with a Church-sanctioned divorce from Katherine of Aragon. It is, ironically, Wolsey's fall that begins Cromwell's rise. Cromwell survives by his own maxim: "inch by inch forward. Never mind if he calls you an eel or a worm or a snake. Head down, don't provoke him." (4) His fortune is on the ascendant throughout the story, but as everyone also knows, fortune is fleeting, and especially in this time largely at the whim of the king.
Mantel gives Cromwell, who is often vilified in many Tudor history accounts, a human face. While he's busy rewriting life at court to suit his majesty and most often, to suit himself and his own desires for reform, Cromwell also is shown to be a family man and a man with a heart who cares about those less fortunate than himself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I delayed reading this book. I couldn't imagine it could be this good. I thought I didn't need another story of Anne and Henry VIII. Read morePublished 15 hours ago by Donna Nardini
One of the most poorly written and incomprehensible books that I have ever had the misfortune to read. Read morePublished 3 days ago by DTD
The book narrates the all-important period of Henry VIII reign, from the fall of Cardinal Wolsey till the execution of Thomas More (1525-1535). Read morePublished 3 days ago by D_TRIGUEIROS
Thomas Cromwell is a fascinating character. Mantel cleverly explores his persona but leaves us somehow still on the outside; as Cromwell was outside to himself based on the novel's... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Brian Cuneo
The period of history Mantle writes about is so interesting. One has to have one's history books to hand to constantly check on her characters and how historians place them in the... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Edwin Relf
An historically accurate book with an abundance of details that make the story come alive.Published 10 days ago by jan
writing style interferes with the smooth reading of the story i.e. often using pronouns with little to no reference to who is talkingPublished 10 days ago by Patty Clenaghen
If you're going to use the present tense when you write a book, then at least use the first person. Normally I give a book at least 50 or so pages. Not this one.Published 18 days ago by Anaya