Religion, power, politics, money and sex - key elements of human life - are all on full display in Hilary Mantel's Booker Prize winning novel. With judicious helpings of period detail, she presents an appealing portrait of Thomas Cromwell, the man who managed to free King Henry VIII from the Catholic Church and his first Queen, Katherine of Aragon, allowing Henry to enter into a second marriage to Anne Boleyn.
Whether or not a reader is familiar with the reign and times of Henry VIII, the story itself can be followed effortlessly, aided by the Table of Contents, Cast of Characters and Tudor Family Tree provided. Henry himself appears not only as a king who brought about vast changes in English history but also as a man of his times, influenced by the Renaissance, Martin Luther's Reformation and humanist philosophy, then called The New Learning. Henry's conviction that he...
Beyond the Book
Cast of Characters
King of England 1509-1547
Painted by Hans Holbein in 1536
German painter Hans Holbein made his reputation in Basel, designing wood blocks for book printers, and painting portraits and commissions for churches. Despite his relative success, the disturbed conditions of the Reformation led him to doubt his financial future and thus seek work in Britain. During his first visit in 1526 he was patronized by the circle of Sir Thomas More. Until his death Holbein was employed by Henry VIII in a wide assortment of tasks, ranging from designing court costumes, silverware, jewelry and...