Wolf Hall | EW.com

Books

Wolf Hall (Book) For centuries, Thomas Cromwell has been depicted as a villain, the Machiavellian architect of the English Reformation and Henry VIII's first ...Wolf Hall (Book)History, Fiction For centuries, Thomas Cromwell has been depicted as a villain, the Machiavellian architect of the English Reformation and Henry VIII's first ...2009-10-16Henry Holt & Company
Wolf Hall
B

Wolf Hall (Book)

Genre: History, Fiction; Author: Hilary Mantel; Publisher: Henry Holt & Company

For centuries, Thomas Cromwell has been depicted as a villain, the Machiavellian architect of the English Reformation and Henry VIII’s first divorce. In Hilary Mantel’s spirited novel, Wolf Hall, which just won this year’s Man Booker Prize, we meet a Cromwell quite unlike the one in Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons or even Showtime’s The Tudors. He’s not only sympathetic, but a principled figure of reason and decency (quite unlike the usually saintly Thomas More, here seen as vain, petty, and torture-happy). This dense book features a 98- person character list that only somewhat helps untangle the story’s glut of Thomases, Henrys, and Marys. But Mantel has a solid grasp of court politics and a knack for sharp, cutting dialogue. B

See all of this week's reviews

More from Our Partners