Mantel won the Booker Prize for this novel that examines the scandals of the court of King Henry VIII through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell was the son of a blacksmith who rose to become the king’s closest advisor, chosen over many men of noble birth who were rankled by his appointment.
In literature and film covering the Tudor era, Cromwell is usually cast as the villain opposite the saintly Sir Thomas More, but Mantel turns this dichotomy on its head and gives Cromwell a human side while showing More to be a self-righteous brute. In the end, Cromwell does what he does for his family.
By: Calvin Scholtz, Wordsworth Longbeach