Wolf Hall 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… Wolf Hall 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… 2009-10-13 Fiction History Henry Holt & Company
Book Review

Wolf Hall (2009)

Wolf Hall | Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Oct 13, 2009; Writer: Hilary Mantel; Genres: Fiction, History; 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

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Originally posted Oct 13, 2009 Published in issue #1072 Oct 23, 2009 Order article reprints
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