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 Thomas Cromwell series, Wolf Hall 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
Number of pages: 688
Weight: 480 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 42 mm
'Dizzyingly, dazzlingly good.' - The Daily Mail
'Our most brilliant English writer.' - The Guardian
'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, The Observer
'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
'Mantel is a writer who sees the skull beneath the skin, the worm in the bud, the child abuse in the suburbs and the rat in the mattress...Turning her attention to Tudor England, she makes that world at once so concrete you can smell the rain-drenched wool cloaks...This is a splendidly ambitious book...I wait greedily for the sequel, but Wolf Hall is already a feast.' - The Daily Telegraph
'A compelling and humane investigation of the cost of ambition.' - The Guardian
'Mantel's ability to pick out vivid scenes from sources and give them life within her fiction is quite exceptional...Vividly alive.' - The London Review of Books
'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
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“A Towering Achievement & A Riveting Good Read”
It is difficult, so late in the day, to mention anything about ‘Wolf Hall’ that has not been said already. I came to the book late and through a gift, but found it so compelling that I had to buy the sequel. But the... More
This is the first book I have read by Hilary Mantel but I am now eager to read more.
At first I did not find the book easy reading. The style of writing is unlike any other book I have read. Once I got on the... More
“I tried, but could not get into this book”
I mostly read historical novels and greatly anticipated reading this book after all the great reviews. After 320 grueling pages, I could never get into the flow of this book and finally quit. The author’s writing... More
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