Re: Wolf Hall
Posted by Sterling on 13/6/2012, 16:49:00, in reply to "Re: Wolf Hall"
I don't want to run this into the ground. I'm genuinely pleased that you all have enjoyed reading it so much. |
It seems to me that the continuing reference to him looking like a murderer is used as a joke. I see him in the novel as kind, generous, charming, humorous, and loyal. He seems to indeed have been loyal, to the extent that there was absolutely nothing that he would not have done for the king. The historic Cromwell appears to have had no principles and no scruples.
The lack of surprise comes because I know exactly what he did to Anne Boleyn. Perhaps Mantel means to make a tragic hero of Cromwell. Start with a noble, honest, honorable man (whom the reader likes). (Book one.) Give him a tragic flaw that leads him to perform a terrible action. (Book two.) His downfall is a direct result of his own flawed behavior. (Book three.) That seems to me to be the only other justification for her extremely positive portrayal of Cromwell, besides the "Wicked" Effect.
: I was in Vancouver for a week, that's why I couldn't
: write until today. I still have about 80 pages to go.
: I enjoy it a lot. The book does have a bit of an
: "element of surprise" because I still don't
: know how Mantel's Cromwell will behave with respect to
: Anne Boleyn's downfall.
: The author does give us some unsavory character traits
: of Cromwell. Since the opening chapter we know that he
: may have killed at least one person and there is the
: recurring theme of him looking like a murderer. (Based
: on what I will read in the last 80 pages, the only
: person he actually murders may be Anne Boleyn but I am
: not there yet.)
: "He" was a problem at the beginning but
: later on I got used to it.
: I would like to read the sequel.
: --Previous Message--
: I've just realized why I find it so hard to stay
: interested in Wolf Hall . Mantel has been quite
: scrupulous in adhering to history in terms of
: incident. This is a period of English history with
: which I am quite familiar. Consequently, I know
: everything that's going to happen. For me, losing the
: element of surprise with a total lack of suspense
: kills any narrative momentum.
: Burgess had to make up most of Nothing Like the Sun ,
: and while I knew the outcome, I did not know the
: details of Marlowe's life. The court of Henry VIII,
: though, is like reading a novel about, say, the Bush
: administration. I know the main players, what
: unfolded, and the eventual outcome. It might be
: diverting, for a while, if the author made Dick Cheney
: the hero (and Colin Powell a villain) but the literary
: device would eventually grow thin.
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