Wolf Hall

Version: Unabridged
Author: Hilary Mantel
Narrator: Simon Slater
Genres: Literature, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published In: November 2009
# of Units: 18 CDs
Length: 16 hours, 39 minutes
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In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political power

England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king's freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum.

Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?

In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, the novel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death.

Reviews (3)

Excellent, BUT

Written by Kelli on December 5th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This is such an excellent book and so well written that I am surprised by the one issue that had me frustrated almost through the entire thing. Person direction as to who is speaking throughout a conversation is terrible. In any conversation (mostly with men) the writer constantly referred to the speaker as "he" said this, "he" said that. WHICH HE? Who was talking? Who said that? I was constantly confused. I can't believe it actually got past an editor that way. Shame. Other than that, I enjoyed the story and the witty story line that would appear so often.

So Sorry When It Ended

Written by merrymack on December 18th, 2012

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I have been reading several books about the prior period of English history when Henry the VIII's father became king. Then I heard about Wolf Hall and am I happy to have "read" it! I will say that a reader would enjoy this book more if they have a little prior knowledge of who all the characters were. Everything makes more sense, and it will alleviate the constant turning back to try to remember who everyone is. The foreshadowing of events is spot on and never too heavy. Cromwell is presented as a real human being rather than the flat character of evil about which he is so often written. Mantel's writing is exquisite, and the narrator is amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this novel and eagerly await Bringing Up the Bodies. Anyone who is interested in European history will love this book. I highly recommend it.


Written by PNJ on August 9th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Fantastic! This audio book is like listening to a wonderful play. Great stprY even if you are not a student of this period of English history.

Author Details

Author Details

Mantel, Hilary

Hilary Mantel is the two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize for her best-selling novels, "Wolf Hall", and its sequel, "Bring Up the Bodies" an unprecedented achievement. The Royal Shakespeare Company recently adapted "Wolf Hall" and "Bring Up the Bodies" for the stage to colossal critical acclaim and a BBC/Masterpiece six-part adaption of the novels will broadcast in 2015.

The author of fourteen books, she is currently at work on the third installment of the Thomas Cromwell Trilogy.