|Man Book Club May 2012|
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
'A vast narrative sweep that gleams on every page with luminous and mesmerising detail.' – James Naughtie, Chairman of the judges, Man Booker Prize 2009
About the Book
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, suffering and courage.
About the Author
Hilary Mantel was born in Derbyshire. She was educated at a convent and later studied law. After ten years abroad in Africa and the Middle East, she returned to Britain in 1985 to make a career as a writer. Mantel has won several prizes for her novels, including the prestigious Man Booker prize in 2009 for Wolf Hall. The sequel to Wolf Hall, Bring Up The Bodies, will be released this month and Hilary Mantel will appear at Sydney Writers’ Festival on Saturday May 19th.
Thanks to HarperCollins Publishers.
Want to know more?
Read this interview with Hilary Mantel as she reflects on winning the 2009 Man Booker prize.
Watch Hilary Mantel’s acceptance speech for the Man Booker Prize.
Watch Hilary introduce Bring up the Bodies.
Join the Conversation and leave a comment below.
Thomas Cromwell is a sympathetic character. How so?
Do you think that Hilary Mantel successfully merges historical fact with narrative?
What is the effect of the book being in the present tense?