Weekend Film Recommendation: Wolf Hall

Happy New Year, RBC!

The 2016 film recommendation season kicks off with the BBC’s wonderful televised adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, in a six part series named after the first of the books.

The story deals with some rather well-rehearsed material for English audiences. (The old saying is that the British school curriculum for years languished in an excessive emphasis on the Tudors and World War II). It spans the years from the mid-1520s to the mid-1540s. Henry VIII, who had successfully petitioned the Pope for a special dispensation to marry Katherine of Aragon (who had formerly been betrothed to Henry’s late brother before his own accession to the throne) then petitioned the Pope again, this time unsuccessfully, for yet another dispensation – this time to divorce Katherine and instead marry Anne Boleyn. The political tussle that ensued included Henry’s dissolution of the monasteries, his installation as the head of the Church of England, and some jolly japes along the way over whether Catholicism or Protestantism ought to win out in the long run.

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