Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Wolf Hall changed my life...

Look at this pitiful blog!
It is reduced to pictures of leaves and bread rolls.

This is not giving the right impression…
there is more to me...
much, much more...
I have critical contributions to make to Blogland
and I am starting right now...
with Wolf Hall and what it has meant to me:

It is hardback.
Big BIG Hardback
so it looked impressive when I was reading it.
No-one could miss the fact that I was reading
A Serious Book.
Excellent for Image.

My daughter could see me reading a book.
Which apparently will help her confidence with reading.
It may be too little, too late but I’m doing my best.

For the first time in my life
I have read the Man Booker Prize winner
BEFORE it is announced.
I am IN with The Literary Crowd.
I understand what they are talking about on Radio 4.
I can practically lecture on Modern Literature.

I can discuss it casually with Hilary M.
When I next see Her.
(she is a friend of a friend...
Not that I am dropping names)

I know how to pronounce her surname
(c.f. MANtel which is how I have pronounced it until now.
How embarrassing is THAT!)

When the guide at Hampton Court
gives erroneous information about Cardinal Wolsey
I can gently correct him
and sound annoyingly authoritative.

I can refer to the renewed interest in the Reformation
AND the reassessment of Sir Thomas More
I am sure that the History Department
will be contacting me any day to act as guest lecturer.

I am telling you
there is SO MUCH that is good about
Wolf Hall
that if I was the sort of person who did book reviews
I would give it 11 out 10.
It is THAT good.

Oh, and...

We have a new doorstop for the dining room door.


  1. When I saw the title of your post, my first thought was, "I hope it's a book! I need a big book." Score!

    A small suggestion on #6:
    begin with a quiet cough.


  2. Dying over #2. Just dying.

    (Note to self: rethink the bread roll post you were about to do. Consider erasing recent leaf post. Find an Important Book to read. Oh, never mind; it sounds too exhausting...)

  3. OK, ok.
    But I loved those leaves and bread posts.
    And all the others too.

  4. never ever buy hardback books of such size - they're just too heavy to hold - but you're right they make great door stops

  5. 1. They're too heavy though, so they don't fit comfortably into handbags, instead, authorative editions with fairly plain covers (no pictures? she must be reading a serious book)
    2. I don't think I've ever read the MBC before announcement, but I do know bits about modern literature...
    4. Impressed
    6.7. Both go hand in hand - and will obviously happen

    I like book posts. More please :)

  6. So erudite... will you want to converse with the rest of us any more when our conversation lingers on bread rolls and leaves?

  7. I too managed to read Wolf Hall before the announcment that it had scooped the Booker prize (but this was thanks to Mr M who gave to me as a birthday present!) I would agree that it is a stupendous read and gives a most enlightening view of Tudor history through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell, all in the present tense. I also now look at Thomas More in a (not so favourable) new light.

  8. Must see a picture of the doorstop !!

  9. I am refusing to read Wolf Hall on the grounds that the last Hilary Mantel book I read was the most awful thing I have ever struggled through (Beyond Black - that's NOT a recommendation btw). But don't mention it to friend of friend will you.

    So I will just have to endure the pitying stares from the customers who expect me to have read the whole of the Booker shortlist on the day it is announced.

    And my doors will slam.

  10. Having played the Spanish Ambassador, Chapuys, at the Minack my view of Sir Thomas More has always been coloured by Bolt's interpretation in "A Man For All Seasons". Thank you, Thomas, for suggesting Wolf Hall should be read for a different interpretation. Could well end up buying it especially as it is so cheap on Amazon at the moment. Trouble is I am currently wading through the Plantagenets and having to refer to Family trees every other page to keep abreast of who's who which makes for slow reading.
    Note to self : must change my nickname to keep abreast of the new blog name

  11. I do hope that the book isn't horrid about Sir Thomas More - I did A Man for All Seasons for O-level and have worshipped him as my beacon of integrity ever since, vowing on the spot that I would never sell my soul for Wales. Because I was about to rush out and read the book on your recommendation, but I am not sure if I could bear to do so if the foundations of my life philosophy are about to be undermined in the process. The other problem I find with really big books is the awkwardness of reading them in bed or lounging on a sofa - they seem to require an upright position, and possibly a hard chair.

    But I am glad that you have gained so much from reading such improving literature, and that your skill in list-making is reaching new heights in virtuosity. But I like bread and leaves, too - eternity in a grain of sand and all that!

    Pomona x

  12. Hang on I think I have it straight now, there is a wolf on the mantle in the hall and he is holding open the sitting room door while teaching your daughter to read - is this what you are saying? Perhaps if you just fed him the bread rolls ...

  13. What kind of doorstop? ;)

  14. thank you for no 8. I was feeling lost in literary inadequacies....

  15. I really do want to read this. But it's BIG, isn't it?

  16. But I really like the photos of leaves and bread rolls...

    Now must pick up a VERY big book out of sheer embarrassment!

    K x

  17. Oh, I want to read this! And I'm very impressed. But now I am worrying that the book IS the doorstop -- perhaps you should show us a picture . . .

  18. I would like a picture of the door stop!

  19. I am impressed with your big book but I'm also a little cocky because I read "The White Tiger" before it won the Booker.
    You win though because TWT was s o slim in comparison to WH.
    Well done but bring on the bread rolls post!

  20. oh! After reading this I went straight to the New York City Public Library website to put the book on reserve and I did but I'm hold #748 of 748 holds for one physical book! Looks like I'll be purchasing this one. This isn't normal so it must be some book!


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