Wolf Hall: Being Uncertian

I re-watched the B.B.C adaption of the book Wolf Hall, on events surrounding the court of King Henry VIII through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell.

I sort of liked it first time round, thought it was execellent but it did not gel completly for me. I liked it better second time round as I picked up on some more detail.

I think I will go for another round of watching some -time in the future and see if it starts to hang together even futher.

What I had missed the first time was its sense of being uncertian.

Was a lot of criticisim at the time of its release revolviing around the opinion that it was historicaly inacurate and to symapthetic towards Cromwell.

The series makes repeated refrences to history, both in grand scale and at a more personal level.

Cromwell describes Thomas Moore as a man who was following a script he had written years ago and goes on to note that he can see him scoffing when I muck up my lines.’

He worries that Moore’s literary skills and elequence will see history written from his perspective. Henry himself presents Moore with a script of a play documenting ‘the true events’ leading up to the execution of Anne Bolyen.

A rather nice touch is when Thomas Cromwell is in conversation with one of his political rivals, who lets slip that he had sent spys to Cromwells birth place to find out about his past.

Cromwell’s rival furnishes him with a key detail of his personal history that Cromwell is completly unaware of.

His rival knows his own personal history better than he does.

The Situationist

As key members of the cast engage in trying to dogmatically turn a highly unstable treacherious and unreadable political situation to historical stone, the figure of Cromwell is a counterpoint detailing its uncertianty.

Cromwell finds himself in world he cannot fully read from within a mind he cannot fully know.

Presenting this moment in time from Cromwells fragmented and dissolving perspective is an ensnaring device.



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