Friday, November 27, 2009

Wolf Hall

Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall is a big, old-fashioned historical novel full of wonderful characters and grand ideas, from religious intolerance, to the uses of political power, to the bourgeois virtues. Speaking of the last of these, our hero Thomas Cromwell is a merchant and self-made man, a man of action who cuts moral corners because the alternative is surely worse. His relationship with Thomas More, a sympathetic monster, is the novel's centerpiece, with Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and Cromwell's retinue of surrogate sons play supporting roles. One of those books I was truly hoping would never end...

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