I’m reading “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel (that’s MaNtel, Susan – I was telling Susan about it and couldn’t remember the author’s name, despite having spent much time gazing at the front cover). I don’t know if I will be able to finish it before the due date as it’s due Monday and I may not be in town then due to Xmas holidays. And of course (duh) I can’t just renew it as it’s got a waiting list.
Now that I have all that off my chest I can make a couple comments. The first is that this is a gorgeous book. Mmm. Lovely prose I just want to sink into – like a thick feather duvet or chocolate cake. Perfect, thick and warm midwinter reading.
The second thing I’ll note is that the author has crazy fun with her pronouns. The thing’s in third person, and she totally uses her “he”s like one might use “I” when writing in first person. It’s a little confusing at first, because unlike first person, where there is only one “I”, in third person there is usually more than one “he” and the author only occasionally gives you a “he, Cromwell” to denote who is saying or doing what. For the most part you have to remind yourself that the “he”s coming out of the random blue denote the main character (Thomas Cromwell). For a while you’ll do this, but then you’ll forget about it, and you’ll reread the sentence before, because you’ll think you’ve missed the denoting proper noun. But you didn’t, and you’ll giggle to yourself because you’ve never read anything like this and you feel clever for figuring it out (eventually, and then again because you forgot).
Oh, and Thomas Cromwell hung out with Henry the Eighth, and details of the time period are slipped in meticulously, as are those entertaining historical anecdotes regarding the people involved. Good fun good fun.
I also like Cromwell’s (or the author’s, or society’s) opinion of Anne B (or at least how is is written):
“At New Year he had given Anne a present of silver forks with handles of rock crystal. He hopes she will use them to eat with, not to stick in people.”