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Review Wolf Hall: Page to screen.

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Katie-Ellen

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I have read Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, read a lot of other books, fiction and non-fiction about the Early and late Tudor courts. Watched a lot of films, A Man For All Seasons, and Anne Of A Thousand Days, before Cate Blanchett's Elizabeth. Who else could hardly wait for Episode 1 last night?

The score was haunting, I found myself paying attention to what I was hearing, slightly less gripped by what I was seeing. The camera didn't let me in close to any of the faces. I'm influenced, perhaps unhelpfully so by the mental legacy of portraits, so wanted a cunning but extrovert, larger than life and possibly downright fat , Cardinal Wolsey. I wanted a camel-turkey looking Norfolk, but Thomas More was more of a camel-turkey. The production was understated, almost muted, pale and delicate.

The Tudor court was rumbustious while stealthy. If ever human power play could be observed in a kind of nutshell, red in tooth and claw, deadly while loud, it was here.

I am not exactly hooked, not yet anyway, but I am glad the BBC is even attempting it. High time, a bas reality TV, and I shall keep on watching...

http://theconversation.com/wolf-hall-may-be-historically-accurate-but-its-also-a-bit-dull-36179
 

Steven McC

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I haven't watched the BBC adaptation yet but I wondered what you thought of the book itself? It had so much hype but I didn't make it past the 50th page, which is unusual for me. I didn't think it was bad, it just didn't do much for me.

Do you think it was worth all the praise?
 

Katie-Ellen

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I really enjoyed the books:' Bring Up The Bodies' more so than 'Wolf Hall'. Even though I was much more used to the idea of him as a terrifying villain. He was, to many, and by our standards, but so was More; so was Norfolk, and Henry, cruel times, high stakes. I think she's a poet as well as a very, very good historian, and the academics can sniff as much as they like; her writing knocks spots off Philippa Gregory.
 
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julieanne

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I loved the books and am looking forward to the third in the trilogy. I also thoroughly enjoyed "A Place of Greater Safety" in which Mantel explores the French Revolution through three key figures (Danton, Robespierre and Desmoulins). ASswith her Tudor books, she cuts across the stereotypes and presents warts and all portraits of these people. I, for one, was so glad to see that not everybody treats Thomas More as a saint - he sent quite a few people to the block himself. I love the portrait of Cromwell, he was way ahead of his time.
 
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