Wolf Hall


Author: Hilary Mantel

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publication Date: 2009

Number of Pages: 532

Geographical Setting: Europe

Time Period: 1500 – 1535

Series: Yes

Plot Summary: Wolf Hall is the story of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power during the reign of Henry VIII. Upon the execution of Cromwell’s mentor, Cardinal Wolsey, Lord Chancellor England, Cromwell becomes one of Henry’s advisers. Henry is concerned that with no male heir England could face civil war. Henry asks the Pope for an annulment of his marriage to Queen Katherine but the Pope refuses. Henry is determined to marry Anne Boleyn and it is up to Cromwell to make this happen. There are many colorful characters in Henry’s Tudor Court and the book moves at a steady pace towards Henry’s ultimate goal to make Anne Boleyn his wife.

Subject Headings: Cromwell, Thomas, Earl of Essex, 1485?-1540-Fiction. Great Britain-History-Henry VIII, 1509-1547-Ficton.

Appeal: character centered, compelling, complex, detailed setting, historical details, thought provoking.

3 Terms that best describe this book: political, tragic, haunting.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory. Gregory tells the story of Mary Queen of Scots from three points of view; Mary, George Talbot and Bess Hardwick. The story spans the sixteen years Queen Mary spent under house arrest by her cousing Queen Elizabeth I.

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregoy. The two Boleyn sisters, Mary and Anne are sent to King Henry VIII’s court by their father to gain Henry’s favor. Mary is his mistress and bears him an illegitimate son and Anne becomes his wife and gives him a daugher.

Queen’s Governess by Karen Harper. Kat Ashley is brought to the court of  Henry VIII as a lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn, but also as  Thomas Cromwell’s spy. She befriends Anne and agrees to become governess for Anne’s daughter, Elizabeth.

3 Relevant Nonfiction Works and Authors:

Children of England by Alison Weir. Chronicles the lives of Henry VIII’s  heirs, Prince Edward, Princess Mary, and Princess Elizabeth. The story is told through these children’s eyes and gives a moving account of their lives during this turbulent time in history.

Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir. Weir uses public records and personal letters of the time to write about the lives of Henry’s six unfortunte wives, as all but one of them either died in childbirth, were divorced, or were executed.

Henry VIII: court, church and conflict by D.M. Loades.  As the title indicates this book focuses on Henry’s conflicts with his court, his people, and with the church. It also describes Henry’s passions and his complex religious beliefs.

Name: Jane

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