Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Safe without

I finished Wolf Hall last night. At 650 pages it is a bit of an epic, but well worth it. The author Hilary Mantle has managed to take a well known piece of history Henry XIII wives and put a new spin on it. The main character (though there are a lot of characters in the novel) is Thomas Cromwell. She manages to turn what could be very dull historical moments like Parliament sessions into dramatic and interesting scenes. Building a portrayal of 16th century England which is accessible and interesting. Opening with his childhood, abusive father and trip overseas. Then switching to Thomas as a 40 year old in the service of Cardinal Wolsey. Thomas stays loyal to Wolsey despite his fall from grace after failing to obtain a annulment of Henry XIII and Catherine of Aragon.

I found it to be a page turner and was sad in a way to reach the end. I can certainly understand why it won the man booker price in 2009.

There are much better reviews than I could write by the Gaurdian and Telegraph

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