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BBC Two Wolf Hall
February 1, 2014
12:37 am
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Olga
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Mark Rylance will star as Thomas Cromwell and BAFTA-winning director Peter Kosminsky will direct a major adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies for BBC Two and MASTERPIECE on PBS.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacent…..-hall.html

Excuse me while I go and drown myself.

February 1, 2014
10:31 am
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Louise
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Olga said

Mark Rylance will star as Thomas Cromwell and BAFTA-winning director Peter Kosminsky will direct a major adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies for BBC Two and MASTERPIECE on PBS.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacent…..-hall.html

Excuse me while I go and drown myself.

Laugh

February 1, 2014
1:02 pm
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Boleyn
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Louise said

Olga said

Mark Rylance will star as Thomas Cromwell and BAFTA-winning director Peter Kosminsky will direct a major adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies for BBC Two and MASTERPIECE on PBS.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacent…..-hall.html

Excuse me while I go and drown myself.

Laugh

Olga LOL Wink

Semper Fidelis, quod sum quod

February 1, 2014
10:36 pm
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TudorFan
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Why?

February 3, 2014
3:25 am
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Anyanka
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TudorFan said

Why?

Lots of members don’t like Wolf HAll. I’m just hoping they keep the adaptation follows the book.

It's always bunnies.

February 3, 2014
9:01 am
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Olga
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You know a few weeks ago someone commented to me on FB that they were reading Wolf Hall and that they “had no idea Anne Boleyn was such a shrew”. When I questioned why they thought it was historically accurate they answered that they thought Hilary Mantel “should be historically accurate.”
I feel a rant coming on. I clearly can’t drown myself until the show is on next year or I won’t be able to give it a pasting Frown I am still recovering from WQ.

February 3, 2014
9:06 am
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TudorFan
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I absolutely loved Wolf Hall and have read it twice now. It made me feel like I was really there. It’s just one interpretation of the period, like all the historical novels are, after all, but I loved the way it was written. It took me a couple of chapters to get it, but once I did, I was completely hooked and couldn’t put it down. I didn’t think Bring Up The Bodies was quite as good, but still enjoyed that too.

I will look forward to the TV adaptation, but am not sure it will reflect the book, because it was the way it was written that was special for me, and I’m not sure that can be transferred to the screen. But perhaps it will be good in its own way.

PS. – I loved the White Queen too! When watching things like this I try to accept that the story may not be historically accurate and just enjoy the programme for what it is – one interpretation for entertainment’s sake. Although I must admit, if facts that I am aware of are inaccurate, it does annoy me, such as the amalgamation of Mary and Margaret, Henry VIII’s sisters, and the childhood death of Henry Fitzroy In The Tudors – now that irritated me no end and I stopped watching it shortly after that. But many historical innacuracies pass me by – perhaps it depends on how much we know of the facts. I’m not too well read on the period before the Tudors. Ignorance is bliss perhaps!

February 3, 2014
9:15 am
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Olga
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Unfortunately Tudorfan I can’t agree that an author who constantly alleges that Anne may have been guilty, portrays her brother as a snivelling, smirking fool and her brother’s wife as a vengeful shrew who plotted to take them both down is going to have any good effect on Anne’s reputation, especially when it is portrayed on screen.

I don’t think they will get much out of six episodes, considering they are covering both books.

February 3, 2014
9:21 am
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TudorFan
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Well it’s just her opinion. I don’t believe Anne was guilty, either, but it’s something that we will never know for certain, as we were not there at the time, and only Anne herself and the men involved truly know. So I will probably enjoy the series anyway!

February 4, 2014
1:20 am
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Anyanka
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Olga said

Unfortunately Tudorfan I can’t agree that an author who constantly alleges that Anne may have been guilty, portrays her brother as a snivelling, smirking fool and her brother’s wife as a vengeful shrew who plotted to take them both down is going to have any good effect on Anne’s reputation, especially when it is portrayed on screen.

I don’t think they will get much out of six episodes, considering they are covering both books.

The problem is that an adultress Anne with a weak brother who has an ebil b!tch of a wife makes for a more modern feel to the story to generations brought up on Dallas through to Housewives of X.

It’s sad that such a compelling story in it’s own right needs to be “sexed up”.

It's always bunnies.

February 4, 2014
10:31 am
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Louise
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I think by fictionalising her characters the degree Mantel has done actually detracts from the story rather than makes it juicier, because her fiction is nonsensical. The Anne of Mantel’s imagination is so devoid of charm and charisma that Henry would have ditched her in the first 5 minutes. The George of Mantel’s imagination could never have been a successful diplomat and ambassador. The George Mantel depicts would have caused WWI five-hundred years before the actual one. The Jane Boleyn of Mantel’s imagination would have ended up in Bedlam long before George walked her down the aisle because she’s a raving lunatic.
The actual story of Anne Boleyn would never have happened if the characters had actually been as Mantel writes them. So Wolf Hall should actually be, ‘Anne Boleyn meets Henry; Henry ditches Anne. George Boleyn meets Henry; Henry sends George to work on a pig farm. Jane Boleyn meets Henry; Henry sends Jane to a home for the terminally bewildered.’
Twenty pages and we’re done!

February 4, 2014
2:44 pm
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Steve Callaghan
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It’s understandable that Mantel’s Cromwell – a working class, self-made man – would view the likes of George as a ‘fop’ regardless of Boleyn’s actual abilities. Cromwell might well see George as merely a dabbler and dilettante rather than the multi-talented person he may have been. In fact, Cromwell’s inverse snobbery showed me that his celebrated insight wasn’t the flawless attribute of repute – he can, and did, get things badly wrong on occasion; his propensity for self-indulgent misjudgement cost him his life in the end…although, in fairness, Mantel always claimed that the man was a gambler…

Mantel’s work in Wolf Hall & Bring Up The Bodies is far more nuanced than appears evident at first glance; for all Cromwell’s gifts, and for all his rivals’ follies & vanities, the ‘hero’ Cromwell grows more shabby, self-satisfied and out of his depth by the chapter, if one reads closely enough.

February 4, 2014
6:20 pm
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TudorFan
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Aw, well, I enjoyed it immensely. Who wants just a regurgitation of the same old same old? A new interpretation is refreshing.

February 4, 2014
6:58 pm
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Louise
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I don’t actually think any of Mantel’s characters were rounded or nuanced individuals, however closely I read her books. Cromwell was the only person who was allowed to have more than one dimension to his character, but as much as I admire Cromwell, I loathed him in this. Though Mantel tries to create situations which portray him in a good light, she fails to do so. She allowed him to become a petty and vindictive individual in his choice of the men who fell with Anne due to an incident which didn’t actually happen in the first place. George and the others acting in the play about dragging Wolsey to hell is a purely fictional device. In fact I loathed all of the characters, and I’m not suggesting ‘hero’ Cromwell was any different. I think her inability to create a character that you have empathy for is a major fault in her writing.
As for how Cromwell may have seen the Boleyns, Mantel wrote the book, not Cromwell. Therefore, the way she depicts the Boleyns are the Boleyns of her imagination, not his. It is how she imagines he would imagine them, but that’s nonsense. The Boleyns and Cromwell were allies for years. Cromwell admired and respected both Anne and George, and worked closely with them and their father. Besides which, it isn’t just how Cromwell perceives them, it’s how they are actually depicted. Anne is a cold shrew and George is a feckless fool. There are plenty of incidences in the books where they behave and are shown in that way.
If they had acted and behaved as Mantel has them do then Anne would never have been able to retain Henry’s affection for as long as she did, and Henry would never have continued to send George, an ineffectual liability, on foreign missions or to argue the case for supremacy before Convocation. That’s why I say the fiction is nonsense. This Anne and George would not have succeeded at court and are not how Cromwell would see them. They are a mere figment of Mantel’s imagination. Mantel witters on endlessly about how historically accurate her books are, but she completely ignores known facts, and indeed alters them for her own devices, to create what is purely a fantasy setting of her own imagination.
Cromwell didn’t see George and his friends act in a play about Wolsey, he didn’t fall out with Anne due to his concern over how she treated the Princess Mary, and he sure as hell wouldn’t have seen George as a feckless liability to his family. Perhaps one of the strangest elements of Mantel’s Cromwell books is that she fails to make us care about him, and that ultimately she turns him into a fool. Cromwell wasn’t a fool, and I think she does him a huge disservice.

February 4, 2014
8:58 pm
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Steve Callaghan
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Louise said

Mantel witters on endlessly about how historically accurate her books are…

And this is the problem, whether one rates Mantel’s writing or not. Philippa Gregory does the same thing, unfortunately. Why can’t these authors just revel in the freedom they enjoy as fiction writers & admit that their ‘fantastic’ books are just that: fantasy? Seems to me that too many novelists want the credibility academics have worked for, and too many academics want the sales novelists achieve.

February 4, 2014
9:21 pm
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TudorFan
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“… the way she depicts the Boleyns are the Boleyns of her imagination, not his. It is how she imagines he would imagine them…”

But of course, because she’s not Cromwell, and neither are any of us. Who knows what he thought about anything? Only Cromwell knows. Not Mantell, not us. Your and my and Hilary Mantell’s opinions are just that – opinions. None of us really know. Not now. Perhaps not even then were anyone’s true thoughts known.

Dangerous times to be having opinions.

February 4, 2014
9:26 pm
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Steve Callaghan
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I find Mantel to be a tremendously effective writer (I couldn’t even finish Beyond Black as it affected me so), and Wolf Hall a superb novel. She’s not without fault, of course, but brilliant nonetheless.

February 4, 2014
9:37 pm
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TudorFan
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I have not read any other of her novels, Steve. I will look out for that one, now! Thank you.

February 4, 2014
10:02 pm
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Steve Callaghan
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You’re welcome, TF. :)

By the way, I wrote a brief review of Wolf Hall here (the review’s title is Grand, Bloodstained and Unforgettable), if you’re interested:

http://www.theguardian.com/boo…..t-14286471

February 4, 2014
10:23 pm
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TudorFan
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That was very interesting, Steve, thank you for the link. I also liked the varied comments afterwards! It’s good that we all have different likes and dislikes and can voice our opinions.

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