22. Wolf Hall

Sunday 18 January 2015

In keeping with my previous post of the topics I am going to write about in 2015, I'd like to kick off my second post by writing about the up and coming Wolf Hall adaptation. 

I have to admit I am one prone to dread whenever I hear a book is going to be adapted to the screen. I know that it is impossible to please everyone who has ever read that book but as long as they keep to the core of the book I'm normally fine. 

With the exception of TV Shows like 'The Tudors' - I still can't get past the merging of Henry VIII's two sisters into one character as to not confuse the audience.....  I mean, come on! Talk about butchering history for a nonsensical reason! I wholeheartedly agree with Mantel's scathing attack on the creators of this show when she said, "It's so shaming, and it stems from not trusting the intelligence of the viewer." 

Wolf Hall may be one that does prove me wrong, and I really do agree with the casting of Damian Lewis as Henry VIII, and I agree with the casting of Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn. I think she is a believable and credible choice for the role. I think Henry is always remembered at the blood thirsty , overweight tyrant, but I think Lewis will do justice in his portrayal of Henry during his prime. He was widely reported to be handsome and athletic, which I think Lewis will convey successfully, as well as the dangerous, dark side of Henry for which he would be remembered.  

I have read Wolf Hall, but have yet to pick up Bring Up The Bodies, despite it sitting ready and waiting in my bookcase, but I genuinely believe that this will be one of the best adaptations of a piece of not only historical fiction, but as an interpretation of one of the most famous times in British history. Whichever view you take of Anne Boleyn, you cannot deny she was a pivotal player in changing the course of history as we know it, and to be causing so much divisions hundreds of years after her death proves so. 

Henry and Anne's relationship is such a tragic story whichever way you look at it, for Anne who ultimately lost her life, and for Henry who became a monster, and was someone who was never truly happy. Yes, he ultimately got his longed for son, but he must have known on his death bed the perils a boy king would bring his kingdom. 

Anne Boleyn is one of my favourite historical figures, and I look forward to seeing her brought to life once more, in what is looking to be the best portrayal in years. 

Are you excited for Wolf Hall? What do you think of the casting? I'd love to hear your thoughts!


  1. I made the mistake of reading Bring up the Bodies before Wolf Hall :-( I didn't realise it was the second book! Anyway, I'm really looking forward to watching the adaptation of Wolf Hall and picking up the books again. I hope it lives up to your expectations and I look forward to hearing your thoughts after the first episode!

  2. I agree with what you say about the Tudors butchering Henry VIII’s sisters into one! I found that outrageous! But I have to say I did enjoy the Tudors despite the many inaccuracies because it could spark someone’s interest and cause them to look deeper into the real history. And it was a good story. And I really enjoyed Natalie Dormer’s Anne Boleyn.
    I loved both the TV mini-series of Wolf Hall and both of Hillary’s books. I like the way Thomas Cromwell is portrayed. Despite the awful things he did, he may have been gentle and charming in person despite his reputation as ‘Henry’s butcher and cleaver man.’
    I hope you do write that book! I would read it! Great site!


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