Wolf Hall

Tudor fans this side of he pond are eagerly awaiting the launch of Wolf Hall, a major new BBC drama based on the Man Booker prize winning novels by Hilary Mantel, with the six week series due to air later this month.

Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell

Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell

Wolf Hall, published in 2009 and the sequel, Bring Up the Bodies published in 2012 saw Hilary Mantel become the first woman to win the prestigious Man Booker prize twice. The Tudor trilogy tells of the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s right hand man, with the third volume, The Mirror and the Light, due out this year.

Damien Lewis as Henry VIII

Damien Lewis as Henry VIII

The TV series is written by Peter Straughan and directed by Peter Kosminsky. Mark Rylance plays the part of Thomas Cromwell while Damien Lewis is Henry VIII and Jonathan Price is Cardinal Wolsey. Joanne Whalley plays Hal’s unwanted wife Catherine of Aragon and Claire Foy plays Anne Boleyn.

Joanne Whalley as Catherine of Aragon

Joanne Whalley as Catherine of Aragon

Lucy Worsley, historian, Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces and TV presenter assures us that the attention to detail is phenomenal. No sign of zips on costumes and down pipes on Palaces this time then.

American viewers will not have to wait too long either as the Public Broadcasting Service will be screening the series from April 2015. And for theatre goers the Royal Shakespeare Company’s stage production begins a 15 week run on Broadway beginning March 20, 2015.

Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn

Claire Foy as Anne Boleyn

For readers of this blog here is a reminder of some of the St John women who were on the scene around the same time.

Margaret Beaufort, Henry VIII’s grandmother, lived long enough to see her grandson accede to the throne in 1509.

Alice St John, Lady Morley, got to go on that great Tudor gig, the Field of the Cloth of Gold, but her daughter Jane was less fortunate.

Then there was poor old Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury, who met her fate at the hands of Thomas Cromwell and what about Catherine St John and her artful sister Jane?

Those St John gals are pretty phenomenal themselves.


Hilary Mantel with Wolf Hall

Hilary Mantel with Wolf Hall










2 thoughts on “Wolf Hall

  1. WOW! What a treat in store. I rarely watch TV but a BEEB Classic as this seems destined to be gets me every time; I know we shall get it later rather than sooner in Australia and hopefully it will be on our version of the BBC, our ABC ( which is in the process of being emasculated by our far right prime minister tony abbott – I never capitalize Mr. abbotts name he doesn’t deserve such recognition), It will probably be on foxtel (rupert murdock – ditto) but I shall be able to view the series as my wife insists on having cable TV and that’s the only one available.

    I will wait and watch for this program patiently. I’m delighted to see, again, Claire Foy in a decent role. I find her an amazingly good period actress and would love to have seen the BEEB do another Pride & Prejudice with Miss Foy as Elizabeth Bennet, I always imagined her in the part, she would be perfect, although very good, I found that Jennifer Ehle being rather large at 5’7″ and somewhat buxomly/bossomly built, didn’t quite meet Mr Bennet’s ” my little Lizzie”; Miss Foy fits the discription perfectly!

    Once again a brilliant post perfectly presented for which I thank you 🙂

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