Hilary Mantel goes beyond Wolf Hall

Hilary MantelThe novel Wolf Hall has gotten more than its fair share of press this fall and winter—Booker Prize notwithstanding, it also earned a place on our top 10 fiction list and a glowing review from contributor Lauren Bufferd—but I couldn’t resist adding one more blog post to the load. I finished the novel last week. Contrary to what the paragraph in your high school history book might imply, it took years of plotting and scheming for Henry VIII to get his marriage annulled and marry Anne Boylen, and Mantel’s brilliant, meticulous recreation of these events is a remarkable achievement, if occasionally overwhelming to those unfamiliar with the 16th-century mindset. (However, corporate types and frequent “Survivor” viewers will probably identify easily with the cutthroat atmosphere and clandestine alliances.) Equally impressive is her reinvention of Thomas Cromwell, a man she sees quite differently from most historians.

Wolf Hall is first in a trilogy, and during a recent interview at Daunt Books in London, Mantel revealed a bit more about the second installment, The Mirror and the Light. “It picks up in the autumn of 1535, when the holiday makers at Wolf Hall in Wiltshire take Cromwell through his further rise and his abrupt fall in 1540,” says Mantel toward the end of this clip (part 3 of 3 of the interview):

5 Responses to Hilary Mantel goes beyond Wolf Hall

  1. Melissa Mc says:

    I received a copy of Wolf Hall for Christmas — so excited to start off my new year with a great book!

  2. […] as an aside: What book are you determined to finish in 2010? After reading Trisha’s rave a couple days ago, I also want to read Wolf […]

  3. Viv says:

    The sequel is to be called “The MIRROR and the Light”,not the Miller and the light.

  4. philippa nicholson says:

    I got Wolf Hall for Christmas – it was so good that I couldn’t put it down and I had finished by the end of the New Year weekend!! Roll on the next one – I can’t wait!

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