"England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king's freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph? In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage." -- Amazon summary [more inside]
Wolf Hall: Master of Phantoms Season 1, Ep 6
Henry’s love for Anne Boleyn has given way to anger and distrust. Henry instructs Cromwell to rid him of his second queen. Sensing her loss of favor, the queen’s enemies gather.
Wolf Hall: Crows Season 1, Ep 5
With Anne pregnant again and away from court, Henry begins to take notice of Jane Seymour. Anne hears of this and threatens Cromwell to make terms with her before her son is born. But has she overplayed her cards?
Wolf Hall: The Devil's Spit Season 1, Ep 4
Anne gives birth to a baby girl, failing to produce Henry’s longed-for male heir. Cromwell demands the nobility and church swear an oath acknowledging Anne as lawful queen, but will Thomas More agree?
Wolf Hall: Anna Regina Season 1, Ep 3
With the cardinal dead, it falls to Cromwell to orchestrate a marriage between the king and Anne Boleyn. The king rewards Cromwell for his loyalty, but he is being closely watched by his enemies.
Wolf Hall: Entirely Beloved Season 1, Ep 2
Cardinal Wolsey has been forced to move to York. Cromwell remains in London, seeking to return the cardinal to the king’s favor. As Cromwell’s relationship with Henry deepens, there is unexpected news from the north.
Wolf Hall: Three Card Trick Season 1, Ep 1
Having failed to secure the annulment of the King Henry’s marriage to Katherine of Aragon, Cardinal Wolsey is stripped of his powers. His hopes of returning to the king’s favor lie with the ever-loyal Thomas Cromwell. Mark Rylance stars, broods, and, with Hilary Mantel's story, redefines the role we very differently saw in A Man for All Seasons.
Is anyone interested in geeking out Tudor-style on the BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel's "Wolf Hall" and "Bring Up The Bodies"? [more inside]