Wolf Hall

4 books in series
4 out of 5 stars 6,288 ratings

Wolf Hall Publisher's Summary

National Book Critics Circle, Fiction, 2010

Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2009

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 powerEngland 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.

The program includes a pdf containing a cast of characters and family tree.

©2009 Hilary Mantel (P)2009 Macmillan Audio
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  • Book 1

    • Wolf Hall

    • By: Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated by: Simon Slater
    • Length: 24 hrs and 19 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 3,604
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,695
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 2,705

    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 powerEngland 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.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Divorced, beheaded, died...

    • By Tim on 09-30-11

    Regular price: $55.93

    • Wolf Hall

    • By: Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated by: Simon Slater
    • Length: 24 hrs and 15 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 271
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 214
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 213

    Tudor England. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is charged with securing his divorce. Into this atmosphere of distrust comes Thomas Cromwell - a man as ruthlessly ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Wolf Hall

    • By Margaret on 07-21-10

    Regular price: $25.58

  • Book 2

    • Bring Up the Bodies

    • A Novel
    • By: Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated by: Simon Vance
    • Length: 14 hrs and 35 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2,241
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,950
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,966

    Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Perfection in story and the telling

    • By Ry Young on 09-18-12

    Regular price: $27.99

    • Bring Up the Bodies

    • By: Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated by: Simon Vance
    • Length: 14 hrs and 33 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 172
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 149
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 151

    By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. In Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • As good as the Wolf Hall

    • By Elain on 06-02-12

    Regular price: $28.99