Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2009 '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.' England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor. Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with a delicate and deadly expertise in manipulating people and events. Ruthless in pursuit of his own interests, he is as ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages. From one of our finest living writers, Wolf Hall is that very rare thing: a truly great English novel, one that explores the intersection of individual psychology and wider politics.
With a vast array of characters, and richly overflowing with incident, it peels back history to show us Tudor England as a half-made society, moulding itself with great passion and suffering and courage.
Hilary Mantel is the author of seven other novels: 'Every Day is Mother's Day' (1985), 'Vacant Possession' (1986), 'Eight Months on Ghazzah Street' (1988), 'Fludd' (1989), 'A Place of Greater Safety' (1992, winner of the 'Sunday Express' Book of the Year Award), 'A Change of Climate' (1994) and 'An Experiment in Love' (1995). After living abroad for a decade, in Africa and Saudi Arabia, she returned to Britain in 1986.
"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 "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 "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 "A superb novel, beautifully constructed, and an absolutely compelling read. Mantel has created 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 'Hilary Mantel's magnificent new novel' Bee Wilson, Daily Telegraph 'Magestically conjures up an England in the throes of epic change ... a Great British Novel' Hephzibah Anderson, Observer 'Mantel has produced, all round, the novel that best delivers what it promises. It never lets you down; the prose gleams and she tells the story in an original and free-flowing style that will entrap you if you let it.' The Times 'Ms Mantel's best novel yet' The Economist "Cromwell has never before appeared as he does in Hilary Mantel's dense, finely wrought 'Wolf Hall'!So convincing is she with 'Wolf Hall' that it is easy to feel that we are seeing the real Cromwell before us, transforming himself from the battered child of an abusive London blacksmith- the boy is bruised and bloodied in the novel's wrenching opening scene-into a cosmopolitan, accomplished Renaissance man! Ms. Mantel has demonstrated that, in her way with Cromwell, she is without peer." Wall Street Journal
Winner of Galaxy National Book Awards: Waterstone's UK Author of the Year 2010.
Winner of Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2010.
Winner of Independent Booksellers' Week Book of the Year Award: Adults' Book of the Year 2010.
Winner of Spear's Book Awards: Novel of the Year 2009.
Winner of Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2009.
Shortlisted for Orange Prize for Fiction 2010.
Fourth Estate Ltd
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