Merry Christmas! If, like us, you’ve had your dinner and would like to take yourself to a quiet corner with something good to read and a cup of tea (or a second Christmas dinner- why not?) , rather than get into yet another discussion about politics or similar tricky topics with your aunt’s husband, then we have a treat for you.
Kindle have discounted a whopping 12 of our bestselling titles. Just click on the tiny price next to each title below and you’ll be able to read Wolf Hall, Americanah, All the Light We Cannot See, Pretty Honest and many more in an instant. With enough titles to take you through to 2016, you’ll have a very happy new year too. Read more…
Picture Perfect month presents us with the opportunity to showcase the cover of one of the best books published in many of our lifetimes. And it’s #tbt, which means that we can root around in the archives all the way back to…2009.
Wolf Hall was the first of Hilary Mantel’s mould-breaking historical novels about Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s great minister. Mantel made Man Booker prize history by becoming the first woman and the first British writer to win the literary award twice, winning for both Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bring Up The Bodies (2012).
Receiving the second price, Mantel joked: ‘You wait 20 years for a Booker prize and then two come along at once’.
‘Lock Cromwell in a deep dungeon in the morning,’ says Thomas More, ‘and when you come back that night he’ll be sitting on a plush cushion eating larks’ tongues, and all the gaolers will owe him money.’
Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with a delicate and deadly expertise in manipulating people and events. Ruthless in pursuit of his own interests, he is as ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. Hilary Mantel’s prize-winning Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies explore the man and motivations behind this most masterful of political figures.
How did you first come across Cromwell, and when did you decide to write about him?
I first came across him when I was a child learning history in a Catholic school. I grew up with the sainted Thomas More looking down from stained-glass windows. As I am a contrarian, it made me ask whether there was more to Cromwell’s story than just his opposition to More, and I carried that question with me. When I began writing, I registered him in my mind as a potential subject. This would have been in the 1970s, before I’d finished my first novel. There seemed to be a lot of blanks in his story, and it wasn’t easy to find out anything about him, but it’s in those gaps that the novelist goes to work. Read more…
*I like the works of double Man Booker Prize winner Dame Hilary Mantel
*I am a fan of Wolf Hall, her work of historical fiction
*I also enjoyed the sequel, Bring Up the Bodies
*I have read neither of the above, but would like to
*I am looking forward to The Mirror and the Light, the third in the series
*I partake in television watching Read more…
This month our theme is power, and who has more power than the royals themselves? All good monarchs know the cost of power and what it takes to hold onto it. From historical fiction, children’s to fantasy – there are so many examples of great kings and queens in literature. Some are brave and noble, some are cruel and immoral and others are just badass! Here are just four of my favourite fictional kings and queens…
January always brings with it a sense of regeneration, and this year at 4th Estate that sense was heightened as the date of our office move drew near. We spent December in a state of flux, archiving hundreds of books and packing up our things, in doing so unearthing a wunderkammer’s worth of bizarre items including a giraffe jawbone, a piñata, an artillery shell, and a cut-out of Dolly Parton. We were admittedly nervous about moving from our cosy Hammersmith home, and reticent about moving to the open-plan, glass-walled heights of London Bridge. After all, T.S. Eliot compared the commuters of London Bridge to the lost souls of Dante’s limbo in The Wasteland:
‘So now get up’.
Last night, the television adaptation Wolf Hall became BBC2’s biggest drama series for a decade, drawing in 3.9 million views. The first episode of the six part series served as the perfect coming-to-life of a novel that is at the very heart of our imprint. We at 4th Estate watched both our screens, and our Twitter feed (#WolfHall was trending, of course), drawing delight from both. Read more…