Wolf Hall

  • Type: Books
  • By: Hilary Mantel
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Recommended by: Betsy H.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9780805080681
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Hearts are broken and necks will be chopped

The royal court of King Henry VIII continues to provide intrigue, sex and violence but this time told from the viewpoint of a lawyer who was on the outside looking in. The lawyer is Thomas Cromwell, a self-made man who made into the King’s inner circle. The story picks up with Cromwell as boy working the banks of the Thames River.

A near-deadly beating by his father sends the boy out into the world where he educates himself and begins to make his fortune. This lower-class beginning always makes him useful to the English royals but also suspicious.

It’s Cromwell who has to maneuver between soon-to-be saint Thomas More, Cardinal Wolsey and the Pope in Rome; Queen Catherine and the Spanish; the Catholics and Protestants; all the ambitious Boleyns; the Princesses Mary and Elizabeth; the Scottish to the north and those French across the channel.

The shenanigans in Wolf Hall makes President Clinton’s impeachment look like a ladies’ tea party, which is why this Henry is always interesting. The story ends before Anne meets the ax so you know there will be a sequel.

Readers of this novel may also like anything by Antonia Fraser including The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England, and The Rise and Fall of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s Most Notorious Minister by Robert Hutchinson. Listen to the audiobook, The Lives and Wives of Henry VIII by Elliot Engel or watch the DVD editon of The Tudors, a mini series broadcast on Showtime TV.