Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Wolf Hall

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Wolf Hall

A Novel

by Hilary Mantel

Wolf Hall
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2009, 560 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2010, 592 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Judy Krueger

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Beyond the Book

Cast of Characters

Henry VIII
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 triumphal arches to painting the actual and prospective brides of the monarch.

Thomas Cromwell
Appointed Lord Chancellor after Thomas More’s resignation and went on to become the King’s closest advisor.
Painted by Hans Holbein in 1532-33

Katherine of Aragon
Daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, she was originally married to Arthur, first son of Henry VII...

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