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Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel


Wolf Hall

Hilary Mantel


Historical Fiction   Book Awards   Literary Fiction   Reading Groups   
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February 2012 Guest Editor Joanna Trollope on Hilary Mantel...

I loved her writing, long before the mega success of Wolf Hall. She wrote the best novel (bad title – A Place of Greater Safety) I ever read about the French Revolution, and some great modern ones – like Fludd and Eight Days on Gazzah Street. She isn’t just clever and original, she is also seriously funny, and I love that.

 

Winner of the inaugural Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction 2010.

 

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2009.

 

Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2009.

 

Costa Book Awards 2009 Judges' comment: "One of the outstanding books of the year - historical fiction at its best."

 

Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 26 November 2009.

 

The subject of Henry VIII will always provide a rich source of historical, political and scandalous fodder and here Hilary Mantel concentrates on one of the most interesting times in his reign – the divorce of Catherine of Aragon and his split from the Church of Rome. Mantel breathes life in to every character and even if you feel you have heard this story a million times she brings an original and tantalising voice to the period.



Synopsis

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Galaxy Book Award Winner 2010

Winner of the Galaxy UK Author of the Year 2010.

 

Winner of the Independent Booksellers' Book Prize 2010.

 

Winner of the inaugural Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction 2010.

 

Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction 2010.

 

Shortlisted for the prestigious 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction.

 

“I thought it was absolutely wonderful.”  Baroness Neuberger DBE (Orange Prize for Fiction 2010 judging panel)

 

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2009. 

 

Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2009.  Costa Book Awards 2009 Judges' comment: "One of the outstanding books of the year - historical fiction at its best."

 

April 2010 Good Housekeeping selection.

Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 26 November 2009.

 

The Lovereading view...

The subject of Henry VIII will always provide a rich source of historical, political and scandalous fodder and here Hilary Mantel concentrates on one of the most interesting times in his reign – the divorce of Catherine of Aragon and his split from the Church of Rome. Mantel breathes life in to every character and even if you feel you have heard this story a million times she brings an original and tantalising voice to the period.

 

 

 

'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, suffering and courage.


Reviews

'This is a beautiful and profoundly human book, a dark mirror held up to our own world. And the fact that its conclusion takes place after the curtain has fallen only proves that Hilary Mantel is one of our bravest as well as our most brilliant writers.'
Olivia Laing, Observer

'As 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 that 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.'
The Times

'Mantel is a writer who sees the skull beneath the skin, the worm in the bud, the child abuse in the suburbs and the rat in the mattress!Turning her attention to Tudor England, she makes that world at once so concrete you can smell the rain-drenched wool cloaks!This is a splendidly ambitious book!I wait greedily for the sequel, but Wolf Hall is already a feast.'
Daily Telegraph

'A compelling and humane investigation of the cost of ambition.'
Guardian




About the Author

Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel is the first woman and the first British author to win the Man Booker prize twice and the first author ever to win the Man Booker Prize and Costa Book Award in the same year. At 60, she is only the third double winner alongside J.M. Coetzee and Peter Carey. She is also the first person to win the prize for two novels in a trilogy, following her success in 2009 with Wolf Hall.

 

Hilary Mantel was born in northern Derbyshire in 1952. She was educated at a convent school in Cheshire and went on to the LSE and Sheffield University, where she studied law. After university she was briefly a social worker in a geriatric hospital, and much later used her experiences in her novels Every Day is Mother's Day and Vacant Possession. In 1977 she went to live in Botswana with her husband, then a geologist. In 1982 they moved on to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, where she would set her third novel, Eight Months on Ghazzah Street.

Her first novel was published in 1985, and she returned to the UK the following year. In 1987 she was awarded the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize for travel writing, and became the film critic of the Spectator. Her fourth novel, Fludd, was awarded the Cheltenham Festival Prize, the Southern Arts Literature Prize, and the Winifred Holtby Prize. Her fifth novel, A Place of Greater Safety, won the Sunday Express Book of the Year Award.

A Change of Climate, published in 1993, is the story of an East Anglian family, former missionaries, torn apart by conflicts generated in Southern Africa in the early years of Apartheid. An Experiment in Love published in 1995, is a story about childhood and university life, set in London in 1970. It was awarded the Hawthornden Prize.

 

Photograph © Jane Bown


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Format
Paperback
400 pages

Author
Hilary Mantel

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Publisher
Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date
27th February 2010

Categories
Historical Fiction
Book Awards
Literary Fiction
Reading Groups


ISBN
9780007230204
 


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