Wolf Hall

Published Nov. 8, 2010 by Picador.

ISBN:
9780312429980
OCLC Number:
548616638

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (10 reviews)

In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political power

England is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king's freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and creates a years-long power struggle between the Church and the Crown.

Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, both a charmer and a bully, an idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy. Cromwell is a consummate politician, hardened by years abroad and his personal losses. Implacable in his ambition and self-taught--it is …

14 editions

Review of 'Wolf Hall' on Goodreads

3 stars

The easiest way to sum up this book is to say it's the comings and goings and conversations of Thomas Cromwell on his way to becoming the second-most powerful man in 16th-century England.



On an historical level, this book gets praised for its accurate portrayal of the events under discussion, even if it paints Cromwell more sympathetically than his portrayal in textbooks. Certainly, he's no angel, but his motivations are relatable, and we understand him quite well. His character is well defined, as are King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Cardinal Wolsey, and a handful of Cromwell's right-hand men. The narrative is quite witty, and there were moments I was glad it was written by a woman given these #MeToo times. I also thought the pace of the novel was nigh on perfect.



Unfortunately, though, that's where the praise must stop. The narrative, for the most part, is pretty choppy. The …

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