My Photo













Cornflower book group

« Healing reading | Main | Talking point of the day »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Those are such good comments on Mantel - and on what makes historical fiction work. I hardly ever read historical fiction, and then when I do, I remember that I love it! I must be one of the last people in the country to read Wolf Hall. Looking forward to it, though!


"what gives fiction its vitality is not the accurate detail but the animate one..." that makes a lot of sense. It's a novel we're reading, not a news article, or, a police report. I can understand how this can be extended to film adaptations of novels, that they need to create 'movie moments', since now, it's a visual medium and a totally different art form. Thanks for an interesting and helpful post.


I actually really didn't like Wolf Hall, I found it totally overwritten


I couldn't disagree more with what this writer says. I much prefer Peter Ackroyd's books to Hilary Mantel's and I certainly wouldn't call them 'worthy' in that putting down way. Try English Music, which shows a wonderful feeling for the past and takes you there.


I must come in and say I loved the first-person writing of Wolf Hall. It gave such immediacy to the story. I'm not a reader of historical fiction, I prefer my history to come in fact form. However, Hilary Mantel's writing overcame my prejudice. My copy of Bringing Up The Bodies has been ordered for months. As soon as it arrives, all other reading will be cast aside!


I read solidly through the first half or so of"Wolf Hall" but then did bog down--I still can't force myself back to it. WHY is it so long? I am an avid fan of Hilary Mantel's and this was a big disappointment. But I am looking forward to "bringing Up the Bodies' and maybe this will lead me back to the first volume.


Sitting on a beach in Cebu in the Philippines, I am reeling at the New Yorker comments about Ackroyd. Not novelistically intelligent? I am staggered, having read many of his novels with admiration and enjoyment - he is an extraordinarily wide ranging writer - histort, novels, non-fiction about London, literary biography and criticism - but also a wide ranging novelist, and am immensly ambitious one. Hawksmoor, Chatterton and The House of Doctor Dee are masterpieces.

I cannot comment on Mantel's writing, having been put off by hearing an excrutiating interview with her on radio, in which she was, I thought, pompous and vague at the same time, and seemed to that her novels had the same validity as real history. This maybe quite unjust, but I have read one or two crushing reviews (a small minority, I know)of her approach to history and am ill-inclined to make the experiment. I am with Barbara on this one! Perhaps you can convince me to ty Mantel?!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


Please note

  • Sidebar book cover thumbnail pictures are affiliate links to Amazon, and the storefront links to Blackwell's and The Book Depository are also affiliated; should you purchase a book directly through those links, I will receive a small commission. Older posts may also contain affiliate links to one of those bookshops. I am not paid to produce content and all opinions are my own.

A request

  • If you wish to use any original images or content from this site, please contact me.

The Book Depository

  • Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

Cornflower Book Group: read



Statcounter 2

  • Statcounter 2