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Wolf Hall (Paperback)

Author:  Hilary Mantel
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Learn more about Wolf Hall:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0312429983
ISBN-13: 9780312429980
Sku: 214686042
Publish Date: 8/31/2010
Pages:  640
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In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII''s court, only one man, Thomas Cromwell, dares to gamble his life to win the king''s favor and ascend to the heights of political power. In inimitable style, Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage.
From the Publisher:

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 in the 1520s 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 leaves a power vacuum.

Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?

In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, the novel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death.

Annotation:
Hilary Mantel garnered both the 2009 Man Booker Prize and the 2009 National Book Critics Circle award for fiction for her masterful novelistic account of the court of King Henry VIII, as seen through the conniving eyes of the king's chief minister Thomas Cromwell, who is often blamed/credited with engineering England's break from the Church of Rome. History has portrayed Cromwell as a selfish opportunist who reaped enormous personal riches by parlaying the king's lust for Anne Boleyn into a seismic political and religious shift, now known as the English Reformation. Mantel provides details of Cromwell's childhood, which was marked by abuse and poverty, and his education among the merchants of Italy, where he learns the intricacies of political intrigue. She also fills in the context of his rise to power, which was indeed based on his support of Henry's decision to declare himself the head of the English Church in order to divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
Author Bio
Hilary Mantel
Hilary Mantel was the oldest child of Irish Catholic immigrants. Educated at a convent school, she also studied law at the London School of Economics. Instead of practicing law, however, she became a social worker and then realized that what she really wanted to do was write. She has lived in Africa and in Saudi Arabia, the settings for various of her novels. In 1987 she was awarded the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize. In addition to writing fiction, Mantel also writes book reviews and short stories. Married to a geologist, Mantel has no children: misdiagnosed in her youth, she was finally proved to have endometriosis, which made her infertile--a condition that, she says in her autobiography published in 2003, has been one of the vital and devastating facts of her life. WOLF HALL, Mantel's captivating fictional revision of the life of Thomas Cromwell, won her the 2009 Man Booker Prize.

Praise

"[A]s soon as I opened the book I was gripped. I read it almost non-stop. When I did have to put it down, I was full of regret the story was over, a regret I still feel. This is a wonderful and intelligently imagined retelling of a familiar tale from an unfamiliar angle--one that makes the drama unfolding nearly five centuries ago look new again, and shocking again, too." - Vanora Bennett 04/25/2009

"[B]eautifully written and terrifying fiction....This is a splendidly ambitious book, ample enough to hold a crowd of people and to encompass historical events across all of Europe....I wait greedily for the sequel, but WOLF HALL is already a feast." - Lucy Hughes-Hallett 04/26/2009

"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. 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. 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." - Christopher Tayler 05/02/2009

"[An] arch, elegant, richly detailed biographical novel....Ms. Mantel's velvet-gloved delivery of...devastating observations, her book's broad historical sweep and her counterintuitive choice to make Cromwell its primary focus...have helped make WOLF HALL a widely favored contender for this year's Man Booker Prize... - Janet Maslin 10/04/2009

"Mantel captures the atmosphere of the times and brings to life the important players..." 08/17/2009

Product Attributes

Product attributeeBooks:   Kobo
Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0640
Product attributePublisher:   Picador USA
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