'This is a beautiful and profoundly human book, a dark mirror held up to our own world...Hilary Mantel is one of our bravest as well as our most brilliant writers.' Olivia Laing, Observer 'As soon as I opened the book I was gripped. I read it almost non-stop. When I did have to put it down, I was full of regret that the story was over, a regret I still feel. This is a wonderful and intelligently imagined retelling of a familiar tale from an unfamiliar angle.' The Times 'Mantel is a writer who sees the skull beneath the skin, the worm in the bud, the child abuse in the suburbs and the rat in the mattress...Turning her attention to Tudor England, she makes that world at once so concrete you can smell the rain-drenched wool cloaks...This is a splendidly ambitious book...I wait greedily for the sequel, but "Wolf Hall" is already a feast.' Daily Telegraph 'A compelling and humane investigation of the cost of ambition.' Guardian 'Mantel's ability to pick out vivid scenes from sources and give them life within her fiction is quite exceptional...Vividly alive.' London Review of Books 'A stunning book. It breaks free of what the novel has become nowadays. I can't think of anything since "Middlemarch" which so convincingly builds a world.' Diana Athill
A magisterial new novel that takes us behind the scenes during one of the most formative periods in English history: the reign of Henry VIII. Wolf Hall is told mainly through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell, a self-made man who rose from a blacksmith's son in Putney to be the most powerful man in England after the king. The cast also includes Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Anne Boleyn and Henry's other wives - and, of course, King Henry himself. It was a time when a half-made society was making itself with great passion and suffering and courage; a time when those involved in the art of the possible were servants to masters only interested in glorious gestures; a time when the very idea of social progress, and of a better world, was fresh, alien and threatening. It was a time of men who weren't like us, but who were creating us.
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