Henry VIII was a temperamental and hot-headed ruler, and his series of wives is only one aspect of the tumultuous times portrayed in Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel. The public has gone mad for the HBO series The Tudors, and the Philippa Gregory novels written about Henry’s many wives and his very famous daughters (The Constant Princess, The Other Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn Inheritance, The Queen’s Fool, The Virgin’s Lover, The Other Queen), and much more in television and literature devoted to The Tudors’ story.
Unlike HBO’s version and even Philippa Gregory’s stories, this series, the Thomas Cromwell Trilogy, delves deeply into the politics of the time and what it would have been like to survive with a tempestuous king and his tempestuous mistress (soon to be wife) Anne Boleyn, keep your nose clean while juggling your own religious views to satisfy the crown, and be a high-profile person in changing times that took as many lives as it spared. Wolf Hall is not a “sexy” novel by any means, so don’t expect intrigue and romance in this novel. This is a very serious account, dealing with martyrdom and the deaths of many people who may not have deserved their fates. Be warned.