Posted in 16th Century Reviews Tudor

review: Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel Thomas Cromwell, one of Tudor England’s most denigrated figures, is given an honest voice as the protagonist in this minutely detailed, albeit partial, fictional autobiography. It begins with a scene from Cromwell’s violent youth and then jumps to his patronage under Archbishop Wolsey, intermingling some flashback scenes throughout. Cromwell’s rise after Wolsey’s death is very detailed, pitting him against personages such as Thomas More, the Duke of Norfolk, Stephen Gardiner and other men high in the king’s favor. The beauty of the writing lies in Cromwell’s manner–he is very open and forthright. I had always pictured him as a schemer, but here we witness him telling his methods and opinions to even his enemies, going as far as putting their…

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Posted in 16th Century Reviews Tudor

review: Bring Up the Bodies

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel Continuing the fascinating portrayal of Thomas Cromwell from her award winning novel, Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel seamlessly begins where the former left off: en route to Wolf Hall, the Seymour family home, where all are aware of the king’s budding desire for Jane, the meek and quiet daughter of the house. Anne Boleyn’s star is falling, and though many believe she was the making of Thomas Cromwell, readers will find that is not quite the case, nor does he need her support to continue in his own career path. The religious aspect of the reformation is not his primary focus, but rather the monetary gains, restructuring the law and guiding England to prosperity. This prodigy is the Cromwell…

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