Wolf Hall was riveting and Mark Rylances’ performance remarkable.  Yet that made it all the more misleading as the historical account it might easily be taken to be.  Such programmes should come with (mental) health warnings like cigarettes:  ‘all history is fiction but this is doubly so’.    You only have to look at Holbein’s portraits of Henry VIII and Cromwell to see that these were men from the cemetery:  their cold piggy little eyes and stone slab faces enclosing hearts that had turned to dust.  Think of the Carthusians of the London Charterhouse and Abbot Whiting of Glastonbury who were hanged drawn and quartered. This portrait of Cromwell as a sensitive, caring, compassionate individual was surely wrong.


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