Why this book?
In Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel recreates the world of Thomas Cromwell in such a personal, tangible way that you feel you are immersed in his time. You can imagine the historical period, the buildings, the clothes, the knife's edge balance of political actions, the manipulation of events, the tragedy of power and illness. Henry VIII becomes much less of a cipher for a king without an heir and more of a complicated, sometimes capricious, personality. The man, Cromwell, who Holbein immortalized in his portrait, lives as a complicated individual: a man driven by ambition and at the same time, a sentient, often likable family man – I think his daughter's “feathered wings” will stay with me forever.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
Winner of the Man Booker Prize Shortlisted for the the Orange Prize Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award
`Dizzyingly, dazzlingly good' Daily Mail
'Our most brilliant English writer' Guardian
England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor.
Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with…