A Man for All Seasons Brought Low by Fiction; by Traducing Sir Thomas More, Hilary Mantel's Novel Wolf Hall, Frontrunner for the Man Booker Prize, Does History a Disservice
Byline: Melanie McDonagh
YOU can see why the critics have fallen for it. There's no tedious archaic diction. There's all the human interest of David Starkey's take on Henry the Eighth without the strict limitations of historical fact. There's absolute self-assurance in the narrative, especially because it rehearses so much really good tittle-tattle from the period and, heavens, there was any amount of it around. Hilary Mantel's Tudor novel, Wolf Hall is a kind of onevolume compensation for all the times the Man Booker prizewinner has been bought and not read.
And that's the trouble. Because it's so readable, so convincing, it risks being taken as a true version of events. And that's scary. Because one of the things it does is to reverse the standing of two Thomases: Cromwell and More. The novel does a grave disservice to …
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Publication information: Article title: A Man for All Seasons Brought Low by Fiction; by Traducing Sir Thomas More, Hilary Mantel's Novel Wolf Hall, Frontrunner for the Man Booker Prize, Does History a Disservice. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Evening Standard (London, England). Publication date: September 17, 2009. Page number: 14. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 2009 Gale Group.
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