Mrs Wade – Librarian

The Wolf Hall Trilogy – Hilary Mantel

When and where did you read this book?
My trilogy of books were published over the last decade so I’ve read them at many different times in many different places. The last one was published at the beginning of lockdown so I was able to read it on sunny afternoons in my garden – it was a great escape when I wasn’t able to go out.
How many times have you read it?
I’ve read the first two books three times, but the final one only once. I’m planning to read it again sometime in the depths of winter.
Who or what introduced you to this book?
I can’t remember! My sister and a couple of friends often recommend books to me so it might have been one of them.
Can you give a brief outline of the book?
The books tell the life story of Thomas Cromwell, the chancellor of Henry VIII during the early part of his reign. The author puts you right inside Thomas’s head, so that you experience the whole of his life with him as if it were happening right now.
What made you choose this as your favourite book?
I am quite obsessed with these books – I’ve also watched the television series twice, seen the Royal Shakespeare Company’s version on stage and been to watch the author give a lecture. I can’t think of any other book I’ve thought about so much.
Are there any other books by the author you would recommend?
Strangely, I haven’t read any but I am planning to read ‘A Place of Greater Safety’ her novel about the French Revolution.
What other books did you consider before choosing this one?
I have three other favourite books from different times in my life – ‘Anne of Green Gables’ by L.M. Montgomery from my childhood, ‘Last of the Wine’ by Mary Renault which I read as a teenager and ‘Sunset Song’ by Lewis Grassic Gibbon which I read as a student. Whenever I reread them I can remember how I felt when I first read them.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
I have just finished ‘Hamnet’ by Maggie O’Farrell, the story of Shakespeare’s son who died from the plague at the age of eleven. Its very good at dropping you back into history. I’m also reading ‘Look Both Ways’ by Jason Reynolds, a book for young people. He’s very good at surprising you with sudden twists in his stories.