So, here we are, at the halfway mark in the Wolf Hall readalong hosted by me and Suey of It’s All About Books.
How is it going? I know some of you have finished already! Some are a little ahead. And some, like me, are fighting to keep up with the schedule. Whatever rate you are going along at, we’d love to hear how it’s going and how you respond to Hilary Mantel’s work. And feel free to chime in on Twitter (#WolfHall) as things occur to you.
Here are my thoughts so far:
- I really like Thomas Cromwell. The deaths of his wife and children hit me pretty hard.
- I’m surprised at the harsh portrayal of Sir Thomas More, but it is rather refreshing to see a dark side of him.
- I am woefully uninformed about (1) The War of the Roses; (2) general British history, especially the succession of the monarchy; and (3) Catholicism.
- The writing is at times beautiful, but I am often lost among the speakers and the jumps in time and the name-dropping.
- While the ride has been a bit bumpy for me so far, I am enjoying the perspective.
- I am probably going to need to read some nonfiction about this period soon.
To assist you as you read or as a resource once you’re done, here are some websites that discuss Wolf Hall and/or Hilary Mantel:
- The Man Booker Prize Website – Wolf Hall reader’s guide
- LitLovers – lots of Wolf Hall stuff: discussion questions, book summary, author bio, etc.
- Wikipedia – Hilary Mantel’s page
- Wikipedia – Wolf Hall’s page
- Wikipedia – Thomas Cromwell’s page
- The British Monarchy – official history of Henry VIII
- Christian Science Monitor – Wolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies have been adapted into a stage play
- The Guardian – article by Hilary Mantel about writing Wolf Hall
- The New Yorker – review of Wolf Hall
- Goodreads – reviews of Wolf Hall
I’d love to hear about any helpful resources you’ve come across and how you’re doing so far. What are your thoughts on this historical tome?