A Musing: Wolf Hall

portrait-of-thomas-cromwell

Sometimes, I have the very least to say about the books I love the very best.

Wolf Hall knocked me over. It’s beautifully, carefully, yet freshly written. It’s intense — you feel the heat, you smell the streets, you ache. It has so much to say about human nature and life. I am now always thinking that I should “arrange my face” and wondering what others wear under their clothes. If you want to read a woman write a man (a 16th century man nonetheless — without any of the trappings of writing like a 16th century man), read this book. I never doubted the gender of Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell for one moment. I have absolutely no hesitation in calling this a classic even though it was written in 2009.

I can throw out a bunch of words like spellbinding, tour de force, and  masterpiece, but all I really want to say is, wow, gulp, and again, please.

(portrait of Thomas Cromwell by Holbein, via http://www.wikipaintings.org)

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