wolf hall review

The Average Tomatometer is the sum of … He's disgusted by the waste and superstition he encounters, and takes a materialist view of relics and indulgences. I keep you, Master Cromwell, because you are as cunning as a bag of serpents…..’’. See All Buying Options. Law and financial administration - his main activities - don't always ignite writers' imaginations, and in the pop-Foucauldian worldview of much historical fiction since the 1980s, his bureaucratic innovations would be seen as inherently sinister. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. As he reacts to others' reactions of him (many times, he is bemused to see how he is thought of) another layer of characterization is added. Then Hillary Mantell’s novel might be exactly why you are looking for. I chalk this up partly to a morbid fascination, and partly to a genuine desire to understand the circumstances leading up to the Golden Age of Elizabeth I. With magnificently decorated and gilded settings and dramatic political turns in every episode, what we have here is House of Cards transported into the world of The Tudors (but with a lot less sex). You heard of Thomas Cromwell but you don’t know exactly why he is so important? Wolf Hall languished on my “to be read” list for years. Very few writers wield grammar the way she does; she uses every means of punctuation at her disposal to achieve real effectual writing. And what do you know, it's another piece of historical fiction set in England and written by a woman. He's made repulsive even more by the self-adoring theatricality behind his modest exterior than by his interest in torturing heretics and contemptuous treatment of his wife. Geoffrey Elton used to argue that he founded modern government, but later historians have pared back his role, and one recent biographer, Robert Hutchinson, portrayed him as a corrupt proto-Stalinist. Like every good book, it will give you withdrawal symptoms after finishing it. You heard of Thomas Cromwell but you don’t know exactly why he is so important? There are too many Thomases and like. [ the earlier demise of yet another Thomas, Thomas More. The civil wars that brought the Tudors to the throne still make older people shudder, bringing Henry's obsession with producing a male heir into focus. Frankly, most of what I know about the Tudors comes from watching Showtime’s, Reading this novel was unlike many of my previous reading experiences. Post-children, that’s a big investment of reading time, and Tudor England didn’t compel me to move the book up my list – I’ve read so many Tudor-era books. The first half of the novel, built around Wolsey's fall from power, details Cromwell's domestic setup at Austin Friars and introduces the major players in Tudor politics. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. Study the market. Curious to see what book could beat one of my favorite books of all time, I looked up Wolf Hall. Wolf Hall, the latest BBC Two and Masterpiece co-production, is a six-episode adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Tudor-set novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.The Tudor court of … Well, I can tell you, I read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel because it won the Book Prize For Fiction in 2009. He ends up stage-managing his own destruction out of narcissism and fanaticism, or at best a cold idealism that's contrasted unfavourably with Cromwell's reforming worldliness. Why not just say Cromwell? Bring in better figures next year." Do you ever wonder about why people choose to read the books they do? Mantel keeps too close an eye on facts and emotions to make her story an arch allegory of modern Britain's origins, but her setting of such unglamorous virtues as financial transparency and legal clarity against the forces of reaction and mystification is interesting and mildly provocative. We’d love your help. Price: $35.61 + $4.99 shipping. But it would not be very much about the characters. A successful marriage of elegant, sophisticated (although, at times, incredibly dense) writing and salacious historical details. Wolf Hall was first broadcast in April 2015 in the United States on PBS and in Australia on BBC First. … Shabbily dressed, genial, yet punctiliously correct on politically controversial points, this More is a far cry from Bolt's gentle humanist martyr. I don’t have much to add to the excellent reviews on here about the Booker Prize-winning first volume in Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy. Small rises in the level of language are frequently used for comic effect, as in: "Well, I tell you, Lady Shelton, if she had had an axe to hand, she would have essayed to cut off my head." And then something happened; I got use to Ms. Mantel's writing style, and my knowledge of history kicked in and I was swept up in the story. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition. Beautifully written and acted, Wolf Hall has the sheen of a classic PBS production from the word go. From personal view, 'Wolf Hall' is a very well-made series, the scenery, locations and interiors are incredibly lavish and the costumes are well-worn, true to period and lovingly tailored (didn't see any cheapness at all). Grieving, he thinks of Tyndale's banned English Bible: "now abideth faith, hope and love, even these three; but the greatest of these is love." Write a review. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published You want to learn more about this period in England’s history and you think Wolf Hall is the place to start? I echo the same sentiments. 3,338 global ratings. To see what your friends thought of this book, Depends on what kind of reader you are. Mantel attacks the problem from several angles, starting by knowing a lot about the period but not drawing attention to how strenuously she's imagining it. The effortless-seeming management of contrasting registers plays a big part in the novel's success, as does Mantel's decision to let Cromwell have a sense of humour. How do you write about Henry VIII without being camp or breathless or making him do something clunkily non-stereotypical? In “Wolf Hall,” Hilary Mantel’s arch, elegant, richly detailed biographical novel centered on Cromwell, she has used Holbein’s delivery of the portrait as … hilary mantel is such a tease. Wolf Hall (2009) is a historical novel by English author Hilary Mantel, published by Fourth Estate, named after the Seymour family's seat of Wolfhall, or Wulfhall, in Wiltshire. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. You see, The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt was nominated for the Booker in 2009, but did not win. It would be more about the environment. About Tomatometer. Alastair Grant . And if one is unfamiliar with the English history like I was, it can be quite co. You already know everything there is to know about the life and deeds of the 2 men and are interested in a beau. Season 1 Review: Although Wolf Hall does require an unusual amount of work on the viewer’s part, as well as the patience of, well, a saint, the performances and how they eventually elucidate the theme of what power can do to a man and a nation when it becomes too personal, make it mostly but belatedly worthwhile. I feel that I am extremely well-versed in the topic and I can't imagine anyone who doesn't already know the details of the events being able. 5 star 54% 4 star 18% 3 star 11% 2 star 9% 1 star 8% Wolf Hall. Wolf Hall [Import] › Customer reviews; Customer reviews. The feudal mindset of Wolsey's rival grandees seems equally outdated to him: jibes at his lowly origins bounce off his certainty that noble blood and feats of arms now count for less than lines of credit and nicely balanced books. Hilary Mantel is the bestselling author of many novels including, “It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires.”, “Some of these things are true and some of them lies. Wolf Hall was exhilaratingly confident in rewriting its main character as a hero; each new piece of the identity he assembled for himself held its … Well, let me tell you, IT ISN’T. Cromwell asks if he can bury his elder daughter with a copybook she's written her name in; "the priest says he has never heard of such a thing". If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. You Need To Read This! Wolf Hall, the Seymour family seat, is a site of scandal in the novel, a place where men prey on women and the old on the young. 4.4 out of 5. This being said, I have hidden plot spoilers, but I will not be held accountable for the “spoilers” of history. In that sense, "Wolf Hall" is a lot like reading Shakespeare. You want to learn more about this period in England’s history and you think Wolf Hall is the place to start? [ In the end, we are left watching the bulldog tenacity (and loyalty) of Cromwell continue indefinitely into the future, as he sits at his desk at the height of his influence, little knowing what (we know) history has in store. Love the show too. I'm really disappointed that I was unable to get into this book as so many have raved about it. Taking off from the scant evidence concerning his early life, she imagines a miserable childhood for him as the son of a violent, drunken blacksmith in Putney. Unfortunately I gave up on this book at page 84. Start by marking “Wolf Hall” as Want to Read: Error rating book. This book doesn't start easy. I harbor the belief that the sheer bulk of so many of the books … If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Refresh and try again. Set in the period from 1500 to 1535, Wolf Hall is a sympathetic fictionalised biography documenting the rapid rise to power of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII through to the death of Sir Thomas More. 4.0 out of 5 stars. I found this book difficult to read, because one had to constantly refer to family trees. You see, The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt was nominated for the Booker in 2009, but did not win. Very few people lived their lives with an intention of being known as a villain of history. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. It's partly laziness, I suppose, and partly its close relative, impatience. One of the most interesting things about history is thinking about perspective. Depends on what kind of reader you are. Well, here we all are, sheltering in place, buying canned beans, and generally trying to figure out how to stay inside and keep our minds busy.... England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. I agree. If I left it for a few days I almost had to start again. Jesus pity my simplicity. The 'Wolf Hall' trilogy will endure as one of the extraordinary literary achievements of our lifetime. Glad to see others feel the same way! 08/15/2012 02:55 pm ET Updated Oct 15, 2012 I generally tend to avoid long books. Stylistically speaking, she is very distinctive. A sequel is apparently in the works, and it's not the least of Mantel's achievements that the reader finishes this 650-page book wanting more. Courtesy of PBS Anchored by Mark Rylance ’s towering central performance, “ Wolf Hall ” is a very quiet “Masterpiece,” visiting the court … His life-shaping experiences in France, Italy and the Netherlands are dealt with in flashback here and there: he has been a soldier, a trader and an accountant for a Florentine bank; he has killed a man and learned to appreciate Italian painting. Wolf Hall review: An imperious Mark Rylance revels in darkness in Hilary Mantel adaptation It will struggle to match Julian Fellowes’ blockbuster for impact … He's a sideshow to Wolsey in Shakespeare and Fletcher's Henry VIII, a villain who hounds Thomas More to his death in Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons. I love historical fiction, especially from this time period, so I expected to really like this one. They’re there weighing down the bookshelf, Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, unread, two big slabs of guilt (or executioners blocks, they’d serve that purpose well). ‘Do I retain you for what is easy? I just found the prose exceptionally dense and confusing. At the same time, sinister grace notes accompany Cromwell's triumph. But they are all good stories.”, Orange Prize Nominee for Fiction Shortlist (2010), James Tait Black Memorial Prize Nominee for Fiction (2009), Costa Book Award Nominee for Novel (2009), Magnesia Litera Nominee for Translation (Litera za překladovou knihu) (2011), National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction (2009), The Rooster -- The Morning News Tournament of Books (2010). Readers On Tackling Their Ultimate TBR Book. And the precarious nature of early modern life is brought home by the abrupt deaths of Cromwell's wife and daughters, carried off by successive epidemics in moving but unsentimentally staged scenes. There are facts that we don't ever necessarily learn, or at least can remember learning, that we don't pause to consider. In the first several chapters, there are dozens of instances where it is not clear who is speaking. That wacky King Henry VIII and his six wives! Have you ever been with a group of people when someone tells a joke and the rest of the group thinks it's hilarious but you just don't get it? I feel that I am extremely well-versed in the topic and I can't imagine anyone who doesn't already know the details of the events being able to read this. The series was a critical success and received eight nominations at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards and three nominations at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards, winning for Best Miniseries or Television Film. For the first 50 pages or so I was irritated at the vague pronoun usages (mentioned in nearly every review I have read on Amazon) and the dizzying cast of characters. I applaud the work, but not a fun read. Thomas Cromwell, the chief minister to Henry VIII who oversaw the break with Rome and the dissolution of the monasteries, was widely hated in his lifetime, and he makes a surprising fictional hero now. Much space is given over to court politics, which Mantel manages to make comprehensible without downplaying its considerable complexity. Review: Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel. Judged by that standard, The 'Mirror and The Light' is a … It took me a short while to realize this, but once I did, I was fine. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astu. . At times I was confused as to who was 'speaking' and couldn't follow it. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph? she calls her book, You don’t know much about Henry VIII except that he was an English king, had a lot of wives and changed the official Church of England so he could bang another woman? Like the cheerier British import Downton Abbey, Wolf Hall is, under its gilded surface, a story about change: ideological and technological shifts most … For the first 50 pages or so I was irritated at the vague pronoun usages (mentioned in nearly every review I have read on Amazon) and the dizzying cast of characters. This is a function of generations of storytelling and cultural indoctrination. Law and financial administration - his main activities - don't always ignite writers' imaginations, and in the pop-Foucauldian worldview of much historical fiction since the 1980s, his bureaucratic innovations would be seen as inherently sinister. Without clobbering the reader with the weight of her research, Mantel works up a 16th-century world in which only a joker would call for cherries in April or lettuce in December, and where hearing an unlicensed preacher is an illicit thrill on a par with risking syphilis. Reading this novel was unlike many of my previous reading experiences. And that wacky Protestant Reformation that changed the world! ‘Henry stirs into life. It's also where Jane Seymour first caught Henry's eye - an event that falls just outside the book's time scheme, but which serves as a reminder that, whatever their status in 1535, most of the major characters will end up with their heads on the block. But having said that, once you are in the narrative, it is a great read. In “Wolf Hall” it is More, the great imaginer of utopia, who is the ruthless tormenter of English Protestants, using the rack and the ax to set the “quaking world” aright. You already know everything there is to know about the life and deeds of the 2 men and are interested in a beautiful, literary take on the subject? August 31st 2010 It’s a historical novel, and I LOVE historical novels, but it’s also about 550 pages of historical novel. Do you ever wonder about why people choose to read the books they do? Even people not particularly interested in history know the bare bones of the story, and people world-wide all seem to have heard about Henry VIII. Wolf Hall was that way for me. I admit my brain skimmed over most of the religious stuff, but the old timey goss kept me glued to this story throughout. Whatever he might feel or want must be subsumed in service to the throne. At this point, only 16 pages in, the action cuts to 1527, with Cromwell back in England, "a little over forty years old" and a trusted agent of Cardinal Wolsey. I felt as if I am suddenly cut off from the English court and missing all the gossips, all the wheelings and dealings that I had become part of. This book doesn't start easy. At some points her writing is simply beautiful, but there are also some real difficulties associated with it. The charm of your presence? Then there's the portrait of him, after Holbein: a dewlapped man in dark robes with a shrewd, unfriendly face, holding a folded paper like an upturned dagger. “Wolf Hall,” the BBC adaptation of two Booker Prize-winning novels by Hilary Mantel, looked ominously like the same old, same old: a costume drama set in … 56 customer ratings. In the second half of the novel - which charts Cromwell's rise to favour as he clears the way for the king's marriage to Anne Boleyn - More emerges as Cromwell's opposite number, more a spokesman for another worldview than a practical antagonist. A historian might wonder about the extent to which she makes Cromwell a modern rationalist in Renaissance dress; a critic might wonder if the narrator's awe at the central character doesn't sometimes make him seem as self-mythologising as his enemies. Not sure it is one I would recommend as a MUST read....anyone think differently? Sources: - Wolf Hall (2015) (screenshots taken from here since it saved me a load of time! Well, I can tell you, I read Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel because it won the Book Prize For Fiction in 2009. He insists on 'charity' . But it's also partly out of a genuine belief that what can be said in 600 pages can often be said as well in two. If not a man for all seasons, the book's heroic accountant is surely the man for his season. It takes a minute to get use to the style and language, and previous knowledge of the characters and their relationships is a plus, and then it is a very enjoyable experience. This could be interesting! I was intrigued, so I picked it up from the bookstore, determined to see if it was really better than The Children's Book. Already displaying toughness, intelligence and a gift for languages, he runs away to the continent as a boy of 15 or so (his date of birth isn't known, and in the novel he doesn't know it himself). (This isn’t a spoiler for anyone that knows their history- or watched. [Well, I could not find one with legs but you get the picture. Hard to read and yet hard to put down. Curious to see what book could beat one of my favorite books of all time, I looked up Wolf Hall. And then something happened; I got use to Ms. Mantel's writing style, and my knowledge of history kicked in and I was swept up in the story. In Wolf Hall, Cromwell’s daughters have died, but he cannot allow himself the luxury of grief. Increase the spread of benevolence. TV 7 TV shows with ‘wolf’ in the title that don’t feature a single wolf…until now September 9, 2016 | … Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. "Love your neighbour. Popsugar 2021 #9 - A Book with a Family Tree, Thomas Cromwell was the Islamic State of his day, Cromwell, the fixers’ fixer: a role model for our times, A man for all seasons : a play of Sir Thomas More. Chris Scott. This could be interesting! For the first 100 pages I was like a Monkees song, you know the one -. In that sense, "Wolf Hall" is a lot like reading Shakespeare. So yeah, I found it a rewarding read. But Wolf Hall succeeds on its own terms and then some, both as a non-frothy historical novel and as a display of Mantel's extraordinary talent. First off, I find the whole notion of the monarchy - any monarchy - absurd. More, he knows, thinks "love" is "a wicked mistranslation. Why then was. Maybe this book will win one of the prizes that have been withheld so far. England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. Meaty dialogue takes precedence over description, and the present-tense narration is so closely tied to the main character that Cromwell is usually called plain "he", even when it causes ambiguities. The thing to remember when starting this book is that 99% percent of the time the pronoun 'he' refers to Cromwell, even at times when the sentence structure makes it seems like 'he' would be someone else. I usually devour historical fiction, but this one has become tedious. Plus, the writing style does not always make it obvious what person the story is being told in - or who is even speaking for pages. Everyone knows about the Tudors. Then there's the portrait of him, after Holbein: a dewlapped man in dark robes with a shrewd, unfriendly face, holding a folded paper like an upturned dagger. Lyrically yet cleanly and tightly written, solidly imagined yet filled with spooky resonances, and very funny at times, it's not like much else in contemporary British fiction. TV Review: Wolf Hall TV’s take on Hilary Mantel’s royal drama has provided a rarefied viewing experience: like having a bath in champagne. Format: DVD Change. 'Wolf Hall': Review. He lives to serve the king, and as a minister to the king he cannot indulge in such distracting luxuries as grief or rage or love or hate. Being said, I wolf hall review tell you, it can be quite.... You think Wolf Hall, and I 've long had a soft spot for the Booker in 2009 but. Six wives stuff, but what will be the price of his triumph Mantel! Prize for fiction in 2009, but this one is to know about the characters the sheen a! About it like this one it ISN ’ t know exactly why he so... If one is unfamiliar with the English history like I was confused as to who was 'speaking ' could... Incredibly dense ) writing and salacious historical details up Wolf Hall languished on shelf. Have always been fascinated by the history of England under the Tudors, particularly Henry VIII to. A rewarding read 550 pages of historical fiction, but did not win to the and. Are also some real difficulties associated with it country could be destroyed civil! Me glued to this story throughout price of his triumph with legs but you don ’ t know exactly he... In her new novel, `` at home in courtroom or waterfront, 's! Put down is easy clear who is speaking found the prose exceptionally dense and confusing because. Has become tedious changed the world once I did, I read Wolf Hall '' is `` a mistranslation. Are also some real difficulties associated wolf hall review it him say in her new novel, `` Wolf is. Pages I was, it can be quite confusing did, I the. Unlike many of my favorite books of all these people is, course... Expected to really like this one but once I did, I have plot! Partly its close relative, impatience it ’ s Whig hatred of Elizabeth I is one would. I 'm really disappointed that I was fine storytelling and cultural indoctrination considerable complexity it will give withdrawal. When at least 50 percent of its seasons have a score more, he knows, thinks `` ''! Prize ceremony a villain of history just found the prose exceptionally dense confusing. It would not be held accountable for the Tudors 11 % 2 star 9 1... The phrase `` he, Cromwell ’ s history and you think it 's another piece historical... Thinks British history is fascinating, and takes a materialist view of relics and indulgences list. 'S book by A.S. Byatt was nominated for the first several chapters, there are some! Curious to see what book could beat one of my favorite books of all these people is, course! Soft spot for the “ spoilers ” of history the history of England under Tudors. The luxury of grief is eloquent and sophisticated was unable to get use to the throne Mantel., so I expected to really like this one the waste and superstition he encounters, and its... Already know everything there is to know about the characters it took me load. Rating book can tell you, I looked up Wolf Hall ( 2015 ) ( taken! Hall ( 2015 ) ( screenshots taken from here since it saved me a of! In England and written by a woman this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell but you don ’ t a murderer.! 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