Shortlisted for the Golden Man Booker 2018
Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2009
Shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Costa Novel Award
'Lock Cromwell in a deep dungeon in the morning,' says Thomas More, 'and when you come back that night he'll be sitting on a plush cushion eating larks' tongues, and all the gaolers will owe him money.'
It begins with a Blacksmith’s boy, his face bloodied, his body in the Putney mud at the feet of his ruthless father. His choice: to submit or to survive.
From these brutal beginnings emerges a man who would define his age: Thomas Cromwell. It is the 1520’s, Henry VIII rules England with his queen, Katherine of Aragon but he has no heir. His chief advisor Cardinal Wolsey, an astute and adept politician, is charged with the task of freeing Henry from the encumbrance of his marriage but Henry is subject to commands of the pope and Katherine is a devout and loyal catholic.
Into this seething hotbed of tension and scheming steps Cromwell, a self-made man with a formidable legal mind, shrewd and ambitious. Working first as Wolsey’s clerk and later his successor, he emerges as a powerful player in the court’s games and one with a hunger to win. As Cromwell’s star rises under a capricious King with a boundless capacity for cruelty, he becomes a key player in a power-play where to stumble is to fall and every move offers either gracious favour or certain ruin.
The first novel in her Man Booker double award-winning Wolf Hall Trilogy sealed Hilary Mantel’s reputation as one of Britain’s greatest living writers. Bursting with life and colour and peopled by complex, fully-realised characters, it’s impossible to imagine a more convincing and thoroughly immersive historical novel. By turns shocking, moving and grippingly paced, Mantel makes drawing out the complex machinations of the Tudor court seem an effortless, mesmerising dance. As Olivia Laing comments in the Guardian, ‘it is that supple movement between laughter and horror that makes this rich pageant of Tudor life her most humane and bewitching novel’.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Weight: 180 g
Dimensions: 142 x 139 x 15 mm
Edition: Abridged edition
'So original and disconcerting that it will surely come to be seen as a paradigm-shifter.' - Sunday Telegraph
'As soon as I opened the book I was gripped. I read it almost non-stop. When I did have to put it down, I was full of regret that the story was over, a regret I still feel. This is a wonderful and intelligently imagined retelling of a familiar tale from an unfamiliar angle.' - The Times
'A stunning book. It breaks free of what the novel has become nowadays. I can't think of anything since Middlemarch which so convincingly builds a world.' - Diana Athill, author of Somewhere Towards the End
'This is a beautiful and profoundly human book, a dark mirror held up to our own world. And the fact that its conclusion takes place after the curtain has fallen only proves that Hilary Mantel is one of our bravest as well as our most brilliant writers.' - Olivia Laing, Observer
'A fascinating read, so good I rationed myself. It is remarkable and very learned; the texture is marvellously rich, the feel of Tudor London and the growing household of a man on the rise marvellously authentic. Characters real and imagined spring to life, from the childish and petulant King to Thomas Wolsey's jester, and it captures the extrovert, confident, violent mood of the age wonderfully.' - C.J. Sansom, author of The Shardlake Series
'A magnificent achievement: the scale of its vision and the fine stitching of its detail; the teeming canvas of characters; the style with its clipped but powerful immediacy; the wit, the poetry and the nuance.' - Sarah Dunant, author of The Birth of Venus
'A superb novel, beautifully constructed, and an absolutely compelling read. A novel of Tudor times which persuades us that we are there, at that moment, hungry to know what happens next. It is the making of our English world, and who can fail to be stirred by it?' - Helen Dunmore, author of Birdcage Walk
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