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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wolf Hall (2015)

I loved the book by Hilary Mantel of the same title, and the BBC miniseries based on the book is exceptionally good.  that is based on the outstanding acting of Mark Rylance as Cromwell.  He is a great foil to the demands and idiosyncrasies of King Henry (who is also ably played).  The story is a well known one, that of King Henry VIII ditching his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, who was unable to produce a son for him and marrying the calculating Anne Boleyn.  She knew based on her sister's treatment as a concubine that while you got some privileges, it was a life where people talked about you behind your back and it made returning to your husband a bit of a challenge.  Anne would have none of that, and while there was some movement in Europe as a whole away from the Catholic church, it was a very bold move on her part.  She does not come off looking all that great in this version, but she is mother to one of the greatest monarchs of all time.  It was the beginning of the British Empire.

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