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BBC Two Wolf Hall
February 5, 2014
12:29 am
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Always_the_Same
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I have not read Wolf Hall, and apparently I never will! Where’s the subtlety, ambiguity? I can not take a story where there are the “good” and the “bad”, for me based on the comments HM is not far above PG. I can not take a story where the author makes a judgment so black & white, and give no dimension to their characters!, or at least the benefit of the doubt, and I really do not want to see or read about a another historical woman (or not) being portraying in misogynistic way ( I probably will watch and spitting with rage all the time)Yell

February 5, 2014
8:26 am
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Olga
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I agree with everything Louise says. I also object to Mantel’s use of the Thesaurus. Nobody actually uses the word defenestrate.

Bring up the Bollocks is one of the most pretentious books I have ever had the misfortune of reading. However it was excellent for comedy relief, I was reading passages aloud to Craig and we were both screaming with laughter.

Mantel using Sexton was ridiculous. He had left court before Will arrived in 1535. It was an obvious display of Mantel trying to be clever by use a lesser known historical figure but unfortunately she mixed her time-lines up. She does seem to have a better grasp of her time-lines than she does using the correct tense however, I remember her muddling her tenses three times in a single paragraph and by the end of it I had no idea who was actually doing the talking. Clearly she hasn’t quite mastered third-person present-tense.

I also object to Steve calling Mantel and Gregory “fantasy”. The actual genre of fantasy is finely crafted and superb when done correctly. Mantel and Gregory couldn’t do it. I suggest we agree on “delusional” Laugh

February 5, 2014
8:29 am
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Louise
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TudorFan said

“… the way she depicts the Boleyns are the Boleyns of her imagination, not his. It is how she imagines he would imagine them…”

But of course, because she’s not Cromwell, and neither are any of us. Who knows what he thought about anything? Only Cromwell knows. Not Mantell, not us. Your and my and Hilary Mantell’s opinions are just that – opinions. None of us really know. Not now. Perhaps not even then were anyone’s true thoughts known.

Dangerous times to be having opinions.

But we do know what he thought, because he told Chapuys. In fact we know far more than Mantel gives us credit for. She just chose to ignore it because it didn’t fit in with her fictional narrative.

February 5, 2014
9:01 am
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TudorFan
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We only know what he said he thought. No-one knows for sure what anyone’s actual thoughts are. Only the person concerned.

We all have different opinions of the book, naturally, and that’s good, I think. I enjoyed it very much – and didn’t scream with laughter once.

Always the Same – why not read it and make up your own mind? You might hate it, but you might not. You won’t know until you read it. Smile

February 5, 2014
9:08 am
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Olga
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TudorFan said
We all have different opinions of the book, naturally, and that’s good, I think. I enjoyed it very much – and didn’t scream with laughter once.

Not even when she used “defenestrate”? Really? Surprised That was BUTB actually, not Wolf Hall.

February 5, 2014
10:36 am
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Louise
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No one knows what is going on in someone elses mind, but I tend to believe someone when they tell me. Or at least I tend to accept it rather than dismissing what they say and taking my own stab in the dark. Chapuys hated the Boleyns. Cromwell had no reason to lie to him.
But as I said in an earlier post, it’s not simply what Cromwell supposedly thought of the Boleyns, it was how Mantel actually portrayed them and had them behave. It wasn’t simply in Cromwell’s mind, it was how they were, and there are many many examples of that throughout the books. They were entirely unlikeable characters. Mantel couldn’t even manage to give George Boleyn any dignity at his trial. She had him crying and nearly fainting. She made him into a coward so that Cromwell would look better and so that we would have no compassion for a brave man.
If people enjoy these books for what they are then that’s fine, but I hope Mantel’s insistence on the accuracy of her fiction doesn’t create a belief that she has any historical integrity.
Olga, the only thing you said that I don’t agree with is that you laughed when reading Bring Out Your Dead. Sorry, hun, I was too busy crying!

February 5, 2014
11:41 am
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Always_the_Same
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Louise said


If people enjoy these books for what they are then that’s fine, but I hope Mantel’s insistence on the accuracy of her fiction doesn’t create a belief that she has any historical integrity.

EXACTLY

February 5, 2014
12:14 pm
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Steve Callaghan
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Olga said

I also object to Steve calling Mantel and Gregory “fantasy”.

Pah! I’ll have you know that I am the esteemed author of, well, one ebook! How dare you dispute my expertise in…um…genre thingies! Besides, my mum has loads of Jean Plaidy novels, at least one of which I’ve actually read. So, any further questioning of my writerly credentials and I shall be forced to dig out my final school report, which contained at least three C+ marks – some of which I forged myself – and no detention sessions!

February 5, 2014
3:42 pm
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TudorFan
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Lol!

Some of us will obviously never agree. And as for ‘defen..whatever’, that one must have passed me by. I will now be furiously trying to find it! Give us a clue – what page?

And yes, I enjoyed the book for what it was, so that’s fine. I don’t hold it up as a historical reference book Wink. I genuinely don’t understand why people are getting so angry about it. It’s just a book from the imagination of the author.

Love it or hate it, that’s our prerogative as readers. I loved it, you hated it. That’s also fine. There’s room for us all Smile

Edit – have just looked up the meaning of ‘defenestrate’, yes it made me laugh!

February 5, 2014
8:05 pm
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Sharon
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I’m late getting in on this one, but for what it’s worth, here is my opinion.
I did enjoy Wolf Hall, but I had a real problem with BUTB, for all the reasons Louise and others have mentioned. None of us would hold Mantel’s books to be historical reference books, but the fact is that many people are of the opinion that she was writing the truth. I am sick to death of Anne being the meanest woman in the history of queens of England. The way she portrayed George was disgraceful, and I was disappointed in Cromwell’s vengeful personality in BUTB. I liked him in WH. With Mantel saying that her books are historically accurate, it makes it so much worse.

Yes, the end of the Boleyn’s came in 1536. She did get that part right.

From my perspective, I probably shouldn’t have read the second book. I guess I’m tired of reading books that do not respect the people who lived and died in this time. None of her characters had a dignified bone in their bodies, including her favorite, Cromwell. I love this era of history. My plan is to stay away from books that utterly distort and destroy it.
That’s just my personal opinion. I’m fine with others choosing to read it. Wink

February 5, 2014
11:48 pm
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Olga
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Steve Callaghan said
Pah! I’ll have you know that I am the esteemed author of, well, one ebook! How dare you dispute my expertise in…um…genre thingies! Besides, my mum has loads of Jean Plaidy novels, at least one of which I’ve actually read. So, any further questioning of my writerly credentials and I shall be forced to dig out my final school report, which contained at least three C+ marks – some of which I forged myself – and no detention sessions!

Laugh

“Defenestrate” is on pg 64 in my eBook version TudorFan, you might have to halve the page count for the paperback version. She also used the word “gralloch”. Pg 72. Maybe the Booker Prize goes to whoever can look up the fanciest words in their Thesaurus?

February 6, 2014
12:48 am
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Anyanka
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Olga said

Nobody actually uses the word defenestrate.

I do…honestly..I used it a few days ago to explain how Hannibal Lector killed one of his victims in the book/movie Hannibal..I love using obscure words to my children cos it messes with their English teachers’ minds. And as most of their English teachers don’t have English as a first language, that’s a real hoot making them look up new words. And listening to some one French saying “hyperbole” in French-accented English when they have never seen the word written before is comedy gold..

Yup! I’m an evil person.

It's always bunnies.

February 6, 2014
12:58 am
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Anyanka
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Steve Callaghan said

Olga said

I also object to Steve calling Mantel and Gregory “fantasy”.

Pah! I’ll have you know that I am the esteemed author of, well, one ebook! How dare you dispute my expertise in…um…genre thingies! Besides, my mum has loads of Jean Plaidy novels, at least one of which I’ve actually read. So, any further questioning of my writerly credentials and I shall be forced to dig out my final school report, which contained at least three C+ marks – some of which I forged myself – and no detention sessions!

Gadzooks, yon villein. I haft scribed a few verses of a subject called fanith fictionary, so forsooth I am ye premier wordsmith in this venue. THerfore, I cast my gage at ye feet and challenge ye to a duel of the noble art of versifying for the edification of our fellow travellers unto Canterbury…

It's always bunnies.

February 6, 2014
1:00 am
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Steve Callaghan
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February 6, 2014
6:29 am
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Olga
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If you start talking in third-person present-tense I am getting the feather duster. I mean it!

February 6, 2014
11:03 am
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Steve Callaghan
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He, Steve, hid in the attic for fear of being defenestster…definetst…defi….bunged out of the window.

February 6, 2014
11:49 am
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Boleyn
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Steve Callaghan said

He, Steve, hid in the attic for fear of being defenestster…definetst…defi….bunged out of the window.

An Ubliette is better. LOL..

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

February 6, 2014
11:52 am
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Steve Callaghan
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True but I can’t find it – I’ve forgotten where it is, Bo. ;)

February 6, 2014
12:30 pm
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Olga
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Steve Callaghan said

He, Steve, hid in the attic for fear of being defenestster…definetst…defi….bunged out of the window.

Laugh

But you didn’t hide in the Christmas room?

February 6, 2014
12:43 pm
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Steve Callaghan
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Laugh

As much as I like Wolf Hall, I nevertheless feel that Mantel veers into self-indulgence too often (and BUTB is even worse in this respect). Also, some aspects seem a little amateurish: for example, the anvil-heavy hint that Tudor-age boatmen were more-or-less the ancestors of modern-day London cabbies (with their irreverence, gossip, inside info etc etc). That’s the kind of ‘inspired’ (read: tired) notion that a genuinely amateur author like me might come up with, not a highly-acclaimed and successful novelist. Sheesh…

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