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Wolf Hall: A Novel

Wolf Hall: A Novel

"What can I say about this trilogy? It is the reason you are looking at this display of Tudor literature. It has revolutionized the genre of historical fiction. Although I must admit up front that I am not always in complete agreement with Mantel's assessments of particular historical individuals, her prose, by turns opaque and crystalline, is always magnificent and a delight to read. The author has done for Henry VIII's much-feared minister and enforcer, Thomas Cromwell, what Lin-Manuel Miranda has done for Alexander Hamilton—made him a star of popular culture."

Alan H.

See all my recommendations »

Type New
Format Paperback
ISBN 9780312429980

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. The quest for the king’s freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum.

Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?

In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, the novel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death.

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