The Wolf Hall trilogy and The Mirror & the Light, by Hilary Mantel
Reviewed by Mrs Walker
With millions of other eager Hilary Mantel fans, I seized my copy of The Mirror & the Light just before Covid-19 threw the country into lockdown. It sustained me for the first two and a half weeks in brilliant fashion. The Wolf Hall trilogy is a literary masterpiece and Mantel’s devoted readers will, like me, have revelled in all its many pages of historical drama, pageantry and intrigue. The three books tell of the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell; a fascinating character, a truly self-made man with remarkable talent who, under the patronage of the ill-fated Cardinal Wolsey, eventually comes under the eye of King Henry VIII.
Five hundred years of history fall away as Hilary Mantel brings the Tudor world to life, in all its deadly richness. This a world where everyone knows their place and you’re supposed to stay in it, all your precarious life. Thomas Cromwell’s amazing rise from the dregs of Putney, running away from home at the age of fourteen, escaping from his brutal father, Walter, a local brawler, blacksmith, and brewer of bad beer, to become King Henry’s right hand man, the person to whom the king entrusted all power and the reins of state, is utterly astonishing.
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Nicholas Kristof’s Ten Tips for Writing Op-Eds
from The New York Times Learning Network
1. Start out with a very clear idea in your own mind about the point you want to make.
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2. Don’t choose a topic, choose an argument.
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3. Start with a bang.
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4. Personal stories are often very powerful to make a point.
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5. If the platform allows it, use photos or video or music or whatever.
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6. Don’t feel the need to be formal and stodgy.
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7. Acknowledge shortcomings in your arguments if the readers are likely to be aware of them, and address them openly.
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8. It’s often useful to cite an example of what you’re criticizing, or quote from an antagonist, because it clarifies what you’re against.
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9. If you’re really trying to persuade people who are on the fence, remember that their way of thinking may not be yours.
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10. When your work is published, spread the word through social media or emails or any other avenue you can think of.
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