Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Posted by Caitie F on December 5, 2011

Title: Wolf Hall
Author: Hilary Mantel
Paperback: 608 pages
Publisher: Picador (St. Martin’s Press)
Publication Date: 5/5/09
Rating: +++

Summary from goodreads:

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. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and 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?


If you are looking for a beautifully written, incredibly detailed, fictionalized account of Thomas Cromwell and Tudor England, go find this book and read it.

If you are looking for a fast read and an exciting account…maybe not.

As you can see, I am very torn on this book. I so wanted to love it. It won the Booker! So many people loved it! I love Tudor England and Cromwell has always been an aspect I barely knew anything about!

But it was so slow. I almost gave up in the first 50 pages, but then it picked up, yet it still took a month to read. A month! For me, that felt like an eternity.

Yet I don’t want you to think it is a bad book. The writing is incredibly beautiful! I would read sentences and be amazed. Mantel is a master of her craft and, even though this was slow, I look forward to reading anything else she writes. The detail was also astounding. I feel like I know who Cromwell was and how he thought. He was so powerful and intelligent, I really enjoyed finding out about inner dealings that went on and the imagined conversations felt like they could have happened.

It was an enjoyable book, just not what I expected.

Did you read Wolf Hall? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!



One Response to “Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel”

  1. I don’t read much historical fiction, so I don’t think this is for me.

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