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This engaging summary presents an analysis of Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, which follows Thomas Cromwell as he rises from humble beginnings as a blacksmith’s son to a position of virtually unmatched influence at the court of Henry VIII. Intrigue and scheming abound as Henry struggles to secure an annulment to his marriage to Katharine of Aragon and wed her lady-in-waiting Anne Boleyn, radically transforming religion in England in the process. Wolf Hall won the Man Booker Prize in 2009, with its sequel Bring Up the Bodies receiving the honour in 2012, making Mantel the first living British writer and the first woman to be awarded the prestigious prize on two occasions.
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ENGLISH WRITERBorn in Glossop, Derbyshire in 1952.Notable works:Fludd (1989), novelBring Up the Bodies (2012), novelThe Assassination of Margaret Thatcher (2014), short story collection
Born in England in 1952, Hilary Mantel read law at the London School of Economics before graduating as a Bachelor of Jurisprudence from the University of Sheffield in 1973. She began writing in 1974, but her first novel, Every Day is Mother's Day was not published until 1985. The novels Fludd (1989), A Place of Greater Safety (1992), An Experiment in Love (1995) and Beyond Black (2005) and the memoir Giving up the Ghost (2003) have all won awards, while The Giant, O’Brien (1998) was adapted for BBC Radio Four. Mantel is particularly known for her historical fiction, and in 2017 delivered the Reith Lectures on BBC Radio Four discussing the process of adapting a historical novel for the screen or stage.
POWER AND INTRIGUE IN THE TUDOR COURTGenre: novelReference edition: Mantel, H. (2010) Wolf Hall. London: Fourth Estate.1stedition: 2009Themes: religion, power, intrigue, Tudor society, dangers of ambition, fatherhood, historical fiction, role of women
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel is a historical novel that tells the true story of Anne Boleyn’s rise in power and Henry VIII’s simultaneous break with the Catholic Church. Told from the point of view of one of Henry’s most trusted advisors, Thomas Cromwell, we are led into the deadly but seductive world of Tudor England. Wolf Hall has been noted for its portrayal of Thomas Cromwell, demonstrating sides to the man that are not always acknowledged in popular culture. Based on and inspired by Cromwell’s letters, Mantel’s novel received great critical acclaim, winning four awards including the Man Booker Prize in 2009. It went on to be adapted for the stage by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and later was adapted by the BBC for its 2015 drama of the same name. In 2012 it was followed by the sequel Bring Up the Bodies, and the third and final book in the trilogy, The Mirror and the Light, is expected to be published in 2019.
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