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Wolf Hall : a novel
2009
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Thomas Cromwell (Male), King's advisor, Minister, One of Henry VIII's closest advisers; fled his father's home; fought for the French; studied law; fluent in French, Latin, and Italian
Genre
Fiction
Historical
Biographical
Topics
Henry VIII, King of England
Power
Court intrigue
Royalty
Heirs
Politicians
Husbands and wives
Divorce
Catholic Church
Ministers
Setting
England - Europe
Time Period
1520s -- 16th century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Starred Review. The audiobook version of this deft portrait of antihero Thomas Cromwell is easier to parse than the printed book, thanks to the capable narration of Simon Slater. The sequel, Bring Up the Bodies (narrated by Simon Vance), also won an Audie in the literary fiction category in 2013. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Set aside a full day to savor Simon Slater's delightful reading of the Booker Prize-winning tale of Henry VIII's court, seen through the eyes of his adviser Thomas Cromwell. Mantel's revisionist take turns Cromwell-so frequently vilified as in A Man for All Seasons-into a modern sort of hero, shrewd and adaptable. Slater's narration is nuanced and precise; he breathes feeling and subtle shades of emotion into every exchange of dialogue. His is a heroic undertaking, and he does admirable justice to Mantel's lucid prose and juicy plot. A Holt hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 17). (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Summary
<p> In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political power </p> <p>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.</p> <p>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?</p> <p>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.</p>
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