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Wolf Hall Reviews

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Wolf Hall

Hilary Mantel

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Fourth Estate Ltd
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 27 Feb 2010
ISBN: 9780007230204

Winner of the Man Booker Prize Shortlisted for the the Orange Prize Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award `Dizzyingly, dazzlingly good' Daily Mail `Our most brilliant English writer' Guardian

5 stars out of 5
29 Oct 2009

"“Wolf Hall” has epic scale but lyric texture. Its 500-plus pages turn quickly, winged and falconlike"

Go to the Frick Collection in New York and compare Holbein’s great portraits of Cromwell and More. More has all the charm, with his sensitive hands and his “good eyes’ stern, facetious twinkle,” in Robert Lowell’s description. By contrast, Cromwell, with his egg-shaped form hemmed in by a table and his shifty fish eyes turned warily to the side, looks official and merciless, his clenched fist, as Mantel writes, “sure as that of a slaughterman’s when he picks up the killing knife.” One of the many achievements of Mantel’s dazzling novel, winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize, is that she has reversed the appeal of these towering rivals of the Tudor period, that fecund breeding ground of British historical fiction as the American Civil War is of ours.

Reviews

5 stars out of 5
2 May 2009

"Succeeds on its own terms and then some, both as a non-frothy historical novel and as a display of Mantel's extraordinary talent"

...a critic might wonder if the narrator's awe at the central character doesn't sometimes make him seem as self-mythologising as his enemies. But 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.