'Wolf Hall': Mantel's Cromwell and Henry VIII Rewrite History

April 10, 2015 4:33 PM

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'Wolf Hall': Mantel's Cromwell and Henry VIII Rewrite History

If the 21st century seems fraught with peril over religious zealotry, the 16th century was no less so. In Wolf Hall, an engrossing two-part stage adaptation of Hilary Mantel's novels on the life of Thomas Cromwell and the reign of King Henry VIII, a turning point in history is vividly brought to life with all the drama and intrigue of a modern political thriller.

Mantel has achieved an extraordinary feat for a fiction writer. Simply by looking at events from a different angle, she has upended the traditional version of an old story and in the process turns a lawyer once regarded a villain into a hero, a canonized cleric into a conniving fanatic, a lusty king...

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