Sunday, 23 January 2011

Wolf Hall

I picked up a novel at the bedside of my friends' home last night, Wolf Hall. It was written by Hilary Mantel CBE, a fictitious though historically true tale about the rise of Thomas Cromwell in King Henry VIII's Tudor England.

I read the first half-dozen pages and found it rivetting; to the extent that I'm minded to order a copy when I return home.

Have any readers read any of Hilary Mantel's novels?


Gareth Russell said...

I haven't read any of her other books, although I have read "Wolf Hall" and enjoyed it very much. The only thing I didn't like so much was that I thought her presentation of Anne Boleyn was unsympathetic and pretty unimaginative, compared to the way she looked at Cromwell himself or Henry VIII. Still, I think you'll enjoy it very much!

Timothy Belmont said...

Great! Perhaps, when I've read it, I could ask for some advice re similar books?

My friends also read some phillippa Gregory novels, if I have the name right.


John Self said...

Yes, Philippa Gregory has written about the same era.

I've read Wolf Hall, which I found impressive but somewhat daunting, knowing nothing about the characters - but for the basic schoolboy stuff on Henry - and I expect your interest in the monarchy will mean you get more out of it than I did, Lord B.

I've also read Fludd, one of her earlier novels, about which I can remember almost nothing (though there's a review on my blog). It's also historical, though not all of Mantel's work is. Her previous novel Beyond Black was about a psychic in contemporary Britain (I got about halfway through before giving up) and her most renowned novel before Wolf Hall was A Place of Greater Safety, an epic about the French Revolution. She is currently working on a sequel to Wolf Hall. She is, in my estimation, a very talented and idiosyncratic writer.

Anonymous said...

hello xx If you are looking to read books by Phillippa Gregory.... I have loads x so loan them if you wish xx Still in Paris and having a ball xx coming home tomorrow x will try and email a catch up about it later this evening or early am xx J, xx

Gareth Russell said...

Lord B, I'd very happily give you advice on other books on the period. I'd stay away from Philippa Gregory though; it'd very bodice-ripping and I don't think it's your style. Sort of like Mills & Boon meets 1066 and all that. I think you might rather enjoy Jean Plaidy (severally underestimated!), Robin Maxwell, Elena Maria Vidal or Margaret George. But, either way, enjoy "Wolf Hall" and if you want any further reading recommendation - do let me know! Tudors are a passion of mine and I love a good historical novel.

Timothy Belmont said...

That's terrific! Many thanks and I'll report back.

Historic House Crawler said...

The only Hilary Mantel novel that I have read is 'Eight Months on Ghazzah Street'. I have not yet read 'Wolf Hall', but intend to do so having read the excellent review by the late (lamented) Christopher Hitchens that first appeared in 'The Atantic' in 2010 and was republished in 2011 in his collection 'Arguably'.