See a Different Side of Thomas Cromwell in Hilary Mantel’s Series

See a Different Side of Thomas Cromwell in Hilary Mantel’s Series

Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies offers a new side to Thomas Cromwell, who is often made out to be the villain in previous Tudor dramas. Most Tudors fans, especially if they are on Team Anne Boleyn, absolutely loathe Thomas Cromwell, mainly because he helped King Henry VIII and Jane Seymour’s faction to legally murder the king’s second wife. However, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies gives a new look at King Henry VIII’s infamous councilor and offers another take on the ambitious politician.

Mantel’s Cromwell is a family man, and after he loses his wife and children to the devastating sweating sickness, he’s forced to carve out a family from his distant relatives and wards. Remembering how much he suffered under his alcoholic blacksmith father’s hands, Cromwell is determined that what remains of his family should never, ever have to suffer the way he did as a boy and that’s why he strives to become an adviser to the king, even long after his first master Cardinal Wolsey is exiled from royal favor.

While Cromwell is by no means a saint and is certainly complicit in Anne’s death, Mantel allows readers to see past the stereotype to the self-made man that clawed his way to the top. His multi-faceted personality makes for a compelling read that will have history lovers wondering if perhaps they judged the man too harshly.

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