Monday, January 9, 2017

Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel

Wolf Hall was the manor belonging to the blueblood Seymour family, of which was born the third wife of Henry VIII. 
At the time of this novel, however, Jane Seymour she is no more than one of Anne Boleyn's (wife number two) ladies in waiting. The plot evolves around royal counselor Thomas Cromwell and religious strife in 16th century England. In short : My favourite period and my favourite dynasty!

As far as the writing style goes, though admittedly not Shakesperean, it went down fine by me (possibly because I enjoyed the ). I also appreciated that Mantel had chosen to focus not on Henry VIII as a lewd dictator, but rather on the vital need to unify the country and preserve the Tudor dynasty by producing a male heir. He did stick to wife no 1 - his brother's widow - for twenty years in the hope of a son, before falling for Anne Boleyn and for the possibility of a future king. No one, at the time, could possibly have foreseen what a magnificent ruler Boleyn's daughter, Elizabeth, would turn out to be, simply because there was absolutely no precedent whatsoever. 

Other recent Tudor stuff :
Book on Tudor portraits
Elizabeth I biography
Tudor exhibition
Ackroyd's English history

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