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jerryking : thomas_cromwell   19

Hilary Mantel’s Triumphant New Novel Brings Thomas Cromwell Across the Finish Line
March 3, 2020 | The New York Times | By Parul Sehgal.

“The Mirror and the Light” is the triumphant capstone to Mantel’s trilogy on Thomas Cromwell, the son of a blacksmith who rose to become the consigliere of Henry VIII and architect of the English Reformation......“Wolf Hall,” the first book in the series, begins mid-scene, in a galloping present tense. Cromwell is a teenager and lying in his own vomit, enduring one of his father’s brutal beatings. His eyes leak blood; he is frightened that he has gone blind. It is the last time we will encounter him with his vision obscured.....He flees home, and from that moment on, he will distinguish himself with an ability to perceive a path for himself, to seize opportunity in the midst of chaos. He searches for the nearest war and enlists as a mercenary (“at least, as a soldier of King Louis, he was paid to receive blows”). He serves in the counting houses of Italy and the banks of Antwerp, rises to become the right hand of the doomed Cardinal Wolsey and later the king himself.......Mantel might best be compared to Robert Caro, the biographer of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson, the great anatomizer of political power....They share an interest in what power reveals and conceals in human character. Intimate knowledge, of the self and others, is among Cromwell’s most reliable weapons. “Tell me what you want, I’ll get it” is his mantra. But his subtlety, his crooked genius, lies in never needing to be told; he divines what you desire, before you know it yourself......The curtain here rises on Cromwell in 1536. He is 50 years old, rich beyond all his imagining and very much alone. A sickness carried off his wife and two daughters years ago. He is the king’s chief confidant and fixer, although his primary duty is now “to get the king new wives and dispose of the old.” He admits: “I am running out of ladies.”....A blacksmith makes his own tools, Mantel writes. Rumor and insinuation are Cromwell’s favorites; he throws what mud he can and sees what sticks.....Henry VIII"s marriage to the docile Jane Seymour is the beginning of Cromwell’s undoing. A man who has worked in the shadows is now too visible, envied and feared...... Cromwell is a different creature, less tentative and more ruminative. .... “A man’s power is in the half-light,” Cromwell thinks to himself. “It is the absence of facts that frightens people: the gap you open, into which they pour their fears, fantasies, desires.” ... It is too facile to regard the Cromwell as a Machiavellian monster of self-interest.... In his road-building projects that employed the poor lie the foundations of the welfare state.
anti-hero  books  Carpe_diem  consigliere  fiction  éminence_grise  Hilary_Mantel  historical_fiction  novels  political_power  Protestant_Reformation  Robert_Caro  royal_courts  the_English_Reformation  Thomas_Cromwell  Tudors 
28 days ago by jerryking
Lucky Thirteen: Wolf Hall, Parts III & IV (Entry 3)
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Wolf Hall, Parts III & IV (Entry 3)

Choose your prince.
Cromwell was loyal and energetically served Cardinal Wolsey. Once Wolsey fell out of favor, Cromwell started nurturing his relationship with another "prince", the King, without turning his back on the Cardinal. Then when Cardinal Wolsey died, Cromwell was in a plump position to become one of the King's advisors.

This is how you rise in station. Cromwell is not a man of conviction to political sides. He is a man of conviction to rising in power and wealth. He can go one way or the other. He doesn't seem to be immoral. So far. The jury is still out. He needs to find the next stepping block. He had to choose his prince.

Arrange your face.
Cromwell was brilliant. Knowledgeable in every area I can imagine - numbers, business, language, diplomacy, counseling, theology, politics. He had only his service to others to propel his fortunes forward.

Humbler than humble background, his future lay in what he could do for those in power. Therefore his emotions and opinions were always filtered. What a life. ....hide one's true feelings, arrange one's face. Take a deep breath. You can do it.
Money is power. Even back then. Who would have guessed.

The world is not run from where he thinks. Not from border fortresses, not even from Whitehall. The world is run from Antwerp, from Florence, from places he has never imagined; from Lisbon, from where the ships with sails of silk drift west and are burned up in the sun. Not from the castle walls, but from counting houses, not be the call of the bugle, but by the click of the abacus, not by the grate and click of the mechanism of the gun but by the scrape of the pen on the page of the promissory note that pays for the gun and the gunsmith and the powder and shot.”
historical_fiction  Thomas_Cromwell  Tudors  Wolf_Hall  emotional_mastery 
january 2019 by jerryking
The Bombs of Steve Bannon
MARCH 10, 2017 | The New York Times | Timothy Egan.
Stephen_Bannon  Donald_Trump  Thomas_Cromwell  Tudors 
march 2017 by jerryking
Arrange Your Face
mask your emotions to preserve your political life as long as possible.
Hilary_Mantel  Thomas_Cromwell 
february 2015 by jerryking
Hilary Mantel: Bringing Up the Books -
October 25, 2012 | WSJ | By JAVIER ESPINOZA.
Bringing Up the Books
Hilary Mantel on the Man Booker, Tudor Tales and Polishing Off Her Trilogy
Hilary_Mantel  writers  novels  profile  Tudors  protagonists  Thomas_Cromwell  historical_fiction  Man_Booker  prizes 
january 2013 by jerryking
Hilary Mantel Wins a Second Booker Prize -
October 16, 2012, 5:01 pm 47 Comments
Hilary Mantel Wins a Second Booker Prize
novels  Hilary_Mantel  england  royal_courts  fiction  Tudors  protagonists  Thomas_Cromwell  historical_fiction  Man_Booker  prizes 
october 2012 by jerryking
Wolf Hall
21 May 2009 | New Statesman | Review by Rachel Aspden of Hilary
Mantel's Wolf Hall. In the hands of Hilary Mantel, Tudor kitsch
becomes something darker and less digestible. Wolf Hall takes a forensic
slice through a nation caught between feudalism and capitalism, the
Middle Ages and modernity, Catholicism and the revolutionary doctrines
emerging from the Continent. Memories of the disastrous dynastic wars of
the previous century are still fresh, and fears of another are growing.
As there is little national, so there is no personal, security: noble
and commoner alike are only ever a step away from their legal
transformation into a mangled corpse or a smouldering residue of “mud,
grease, charred bone”.

Mantel’s hero for this age of uncertainty is Thomas Cromwell....he is a
champion of reason and – unlike other, less scrupulous members of the
nobility – of the rule of law.
book_reviews  novels  england  royal_courts  fiction  the_English_Reformation  forensics  éminence_grise  Hilary_Mantel  Tudors  feudalism  Protestant_Reformation  protagonists  Middle_Ages  Thomas_Cromwell  historical_fiction 
july 2010 by jerryking
The Men Who Made England
March 2010 | The ATLANTIC MAGAZINE | By Christopher Hitchens.
Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall is a service to the history it depicts, and
puts the author in the very first rank of historical novelists.
book_reviews  Christopher_Hitchens  history  Thomas_Cromwell  fiction  royal_courts  the_English_Reformation  éminence_grise  Hilary_Mantel  Tudors  Protestant_Reformation  protagonists  Middle_Ages  historical_fiction 
july 2010 by jerryking
Book Review: Hilary Mantel's 'Wolf Hall' -
OCTOBER 10, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by MARTIN RUBIN who reviews "Wolf Hall" By Hilary Mantel
Henry Holt, 532 pages, $27.
book_reviews  United_Kingdom  History  royal_courts  Thomas_Cromwell  éminence_grise  Hilary_Mantel  Tudors  Protestant_Reformation  protagonists  Middle_Ages  historical_fiction 
october 2009 by jerryking

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