Thomas Cromwell

Thomas Cromwell

The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant

Book - 2014
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Thomas Cromwell is known to millions as the leading character in Hilary Mantel's bestselling Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. But who was the real Cromwell? Born a lowly tavern keeper's son, Cromwell rose swiftly through the ranks to become Henry VIII's right hand man, and one of the most powerful figures in Tudor history. The architect of England's break with the Roman Catholic Church and the dissolution of the monasteries, he oversaw seismic changes in our country's history. Influential in securing Henry's controversial divorce from Catherine of Aragon, many believe he was also the ruthless force behind Anne Boleyn's downfall and subsequent execution. But although for years he has been reviled as a Machiavellian schemer who stopped at nothing in his quest for power, Thomas Cromwell was also a loving husband, father and guardian, a witty and generous host, and a loyal and devoted servant. With new insights into Cromwell's character, his family life and his close relationships with both Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII, joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces Tracy Borman examines the life, loves and legacy of the man who changed the shape of England forever.
Publisher: London : Hodder & Stoughton, 2014.
Branch Call Number: 942.052 CRO
Characteristics: xiii, 450 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill., maps ;,25 cm.

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MommyMonk
May 26, 2015

I loved this book.
I, too, had only a poor opinion of Cromwell. He has always been displayed as a cruel, heartless beast who destroyed people for the fun of it.
This book changed all of that- he became a human who, though his own inability to see the consequences of his actions, created the perfect storm of his own destruction.
Cromwell was as human as any other person, and a product of his time. He wasn't any more, or less, vicious and cruel than anyone else in that society, at that time, and at that level of power. Henry the VIII was a lunatic, drunk with the power that Cromwell gave him, and, unfortunately for Cromwell, he was caught in a trap of his own devising.
I wish that the library had more of this author's books, as I would love to read more of her work.

d
DASTardlyGal
May 07, 2015

Really liked the book. Since 1970, when I was a wee child, and my mom sent me to see "Anne of the Thousand Days", I have never liked Thomas Cromwell. As the years passed, my dislike only intensified. While this book has taken away a smidge of my dislike, it did show me that he was HUMAN after all, which I never considered him to be. He mourned his wife and daughters' deaths but had too much to do for Wolsey to really even deal with it. I felt bad for him for their deaths, since he truly loved his wife and children, again, something I never thought capable of him. I was still glad he got what was coming to him in the end, but, now, I have a small amount of sympathy, not much, but small for the way the king turned on him. My problem with the book was, and my husband says I'm not a stupid woman, the author's use of the original letters and comments made by Thomas Cromwell, and others. I was at a loss trying to figure out what words were and meant, since they weren't spelled how we spell words now, taking anywhere from 30 seconds to almost a minute trying to figure out what the word was , and what was worse, for me, was, I didn't know what the significance of some of the original exerpts meant, what she was trying to tell was, and what the purpose of putting them in the book in the first place. Sometimes she didn't elaborate what the exerpts meant, and it took away the reading pleasure I had reading this book considerably. Hope this makes sense. Most historical books I've read use modern translations of the original texts but, this author didn't. While I liked seeing how people wrote and spoke, most of the times, it made no sense to me, sadly. What amazes me is that people wrote and talked like that and understood what they were saying. Boggles this mind, but, at the same time, it is interesting that they did speak like that. I recommend this book highly. It was so interesting to me. I will never have a high opinion of Master Cromwell, but I realize, that he was a man living before his time, and I understand a lot of his policies are still in effect today, so that is something in his favor. I liked this book so much, I might purchase it in the future to read again one of these days. I applaud Miss Borman, as this must have been a huge undertaking with all the information she had to sift through and what to use and what not to use. My closing is this. I find it ironic that he rose to power with the downfall of one Anne, while HIS downfall was caused by another Anne.

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