After years of string at the book in shops, wanting to read it, I finally found Wolf Hall in the library.
It just brought an important points to my attention. Even though I’m barely half way.
It took a while for me to get into, but there’s something wonderful about reading about a relatively famous episode in history from the view of a person who people tend to forget.
Thomas Cromwell can be seen as a winner from the whole situation with Henry VIII’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon. And, if memory serves, he kept right on winning all the way through to (I think) Anne of Cleves, wife number four of six.
Given Henry VIII’s personality, that’s pretty impressive. In fact, he was an impressive person. But for some reason he just faded into the back ground. Perhaps because he was so skilled. He had to be pretty involved, but he always managed to keep ahead of the disasters.
That’s probably why he isn’t such a presence in our cultural minds. He escaped the drama, the tragedy. The shit that rained down in epic proportions.
He was the guy unafraid of getting his hands dirty, but somehow, he managed to stay clean…
So yeah, Hilary Mantel was brilliant in picking him as a main character. Because he was a truly impressive character and the way she writes him made me see the Tudors in a whole new light.
And that makes me wonder. There are so many periods in history that I love, with so many interesting, but disregarded characters…
It might make for an interesting bit of research for me to go looking for them. IF I finish all the other projects waiting for me.