“Wolf Hall”, by Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel’s new novel, Wolf Hall, about Thomas Cromwell, advisor to Henry VIII has appeared in the UK, and I’m hungry to read it.  Her name, like the words “cream cake” or “single malt”, evokes terrible cravings, and her books do leave me feeling fat and hungover, but nobody writes more compelling prose or more swashbuckling dialogue.  Yes, yes, all that thrusting and parrying gets a bit mannered – everyone in her books is such an accomplished swordsman! – but her language is a lurid Mahlerian ravishment that storms and overwhelms and leaves me feeling stuffed, as if I’ll never read again.  As if!

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