22 comments on “Wolf Hall Trilogy by Hilary Mantel | Mini Reviews

  1. Great reviews! Your reading pace and motivation to get through the Wolf Hall series is really impressive! I like the point you make about certain aspects of the books feeling clunky, even though they were heavily influenced by historic events – sometimes I feel this way reading historical fiction too.

    • Thank you! 😊 Yes, I imagine it’s a tricky balance to get right when trying to stick close to the source material, but I couldn’t help but find it a little jarring at times.

  2. Wow, I don’t know how you managed to read all these alongside the rest of the longlist! I read the first two ages ago and I haven’t even tried to take on the third yet! I liked the first two a lot better than you did, but I completely agree that Bring Up The Bodies is a real step up from Wolf Hall. At times Wolf Hall felt like a lot of set-up for the second novel.

    • I think it was sheer stubborn determination to get the list finished that powered me through! Haha

      Yes, that’s a very good way to describe it! I hope you enjoy Book 3 when you get to it.

  3. Well done! I’m probably never going to read these but I appreciate learning more about them, so thank you! The only Mantel I’ve read is her short story collection and I felt like I lacked in knowledge of British history and politics to fully appreciate it.

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  5. I remain so impressed that you read all of these so quickly, especially as you weren’t quite enjoying them! It’s still early days for me, but I was immediately drawn in to Wolf Hall by the writing, and haven’t really thought about Henry VIII for years, which will hopefully work in my favor. I am glad that the effort and the prose seemed notable for you at least- respect seems a decent feeling to end with, though with a story of this page count it’s certainly understandable to wish for more!

  6. I was gifted a copy of ‘Wolf Hall’ when I was studying Tudor history at school, and have to admit that I still haven’t finished it all these years later! However I would quite like to see it through, and it’s encouraging to read that you think they improve. I’ll just have to put in the hours!

  7. Wow, YOU FINISHED EVERYTHING! Plus the entire longlist to boot! Congrats!! I don’t think I could’ve mustered up the determination to read through a trilogy about “rich, self-important egomaniacs who care only about getting as close to the throne as possible” lol, but I’m glad you eventually came to respect it, at the very least. I’ll keep your reviews in mind if I ever think about giving this series a chance in the (very far) future.

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  9. Having just finished the series properly, I totally understand your frustration with the over-stuffed cast of often same-named characters. It’s definitely something that irked me reading through the trilogy and drew me out of the story more than once. With all the characters having their own hidden agendas and murky dealings it’s very tricky to single out one character to “root for”. That being said, Mantel’s very good at building a scene with rich emotive descriptions and pulling the reader into Tudor England – glad you enjoyed that side of it!

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