Wolf Hall
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (Harper Collins, 2019)

Historical Fiction

My fiction recommendations this month must include the late Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy. They are lengthy and the style doesn’t appeal to everyone, but I loved these books and will be re-reading them. They put us right in the heart of Henry VIII’s court, and follow the unfolding intrigues, plots and political shenanigans from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell: a blacksmith’s son, lawyer and statesman, who rose to Lord Privy Seal before his dramatic fall. While the headline story is probably well-known, the telling has a contemporary, personal and immediate feel: written in the present tense, the reader is a spectator, sat, invisible, on Cromwell’s shoulder. The stakes are high and the politics are brutal. “Once the queen’s head is severed, he walks away. A sharp pang of appetite reminds him that it is time for a second breakfast, or perhaps an early dinner…. The witnesses, who have knelt for the passing of the soul, stand up and put on their hats. Under the hats, their faces are stunned.” – the opening lines from the third book, The Mirror & The Light. Publication details for the trilogy • Wolf Hall: ISBN: 9780008381691, 2019 • Bring Up The Bodies: ISBN: 9780008430009, 2019 • The Mirror & The Light: ISBN: 9780007481002, 2021 • OR the trilogy is available as hardback, slipcase gift edition: ISBN: 9780008424510

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