Cromwell,Thomas HolbeinI’ve been receiving lots of questions about the historical personalities featured in the recent BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies so I’m currently working on some special articles on some of these characters, helped by Clare Cherry, Olga Hughes, Teri Fitzgerald and Beth von Staats. These articles will be published later this month and in early April, but for now I thought I’d share links to previous articles about some of Wolf Hall’s real cast.

There are thousands of articles on this site, so I’ve just picked a selection. I hope you find them useful.

Thomas Cromwell

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury


Sir Thomas More

Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk

ThomasHoward, Duke of Norfolk

Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk

Charles Brandon
Charles Brandon

Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford

George Boleyn, Lord Rochford

George Boleyn signature

Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire

Thomas Boleyn's brass memorial
Thomas Boleyn’s brass memorial

Mary Boleyn

Unknown woman said to be Mary Boleyn
Unknown woman said to be Mary Boleyn

Gregory Cromwell

Sir Francis Weston, Sir Henry Norris, William Brereton and Mark Smeaton

Man thought to be Sir Francis Weston
Man thought to be Sir Francis Weston

Jane Seymour

Jane Seymour-Hans_Holbein_d._J._032b

Cardinal Thomas Wolsey


Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester

Bishop Gardiner
Stephen Gardiner

Sir Francis Bryan

Sir Henry Percy

Elizabeth Barton

Eustace Chapuys

Henry VIII

Henry VIIIThere are many, many articles on this website about Henry VIII and you can browse these by going to the Henry VIII category page, but here are a few:

Catherine of Aragon

Catherine of Aragon

Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn NPGThere are many, many articles on this site on Anne (obviously!) so use the category menu on the left hand side to browse articles on different aspects of her life. You may find these links particularly useful:

The Google Search box in the right hand side menu will help you to find articles on specific topics.

Related Post

7 thoughts on “Wolf Hall – The Real Cast”
    1. I didn’t tell you, but several episodes are on youtube – don’t look at the ones that show 301 views, those are spam. I saw most already and I can tell you, very well worth it if you loved the books.

      Be advised, the characters are through Cromwell’s eyes, so do not expect the romantic mush version of Anne Boleyn, nor the sexy pants one.

  1. This would be very helpful to people who haven’t read the books. I just saw the episodes excluding 6, and I think many characters are seen very briefly so if people didn’t read it they might not be able to keep up well with the back stories.

    I enjoyed it very much but I will have to wait until in is released fully here to see the end.

    One thing that irritated me was Katherine yet again with dark hair. Joanne Whalley was excellent, but I sure wish they had given everyone a heart attack with her real red hair! Same with Mary Tudor’s bright red hair. Would have been so funny to show how Anne’s coloring was the unique one.

  2. Thanks for listing the articles together, makes them easy access. As a drama the BBC have to be congratulated as it was very well done, but there are questions about the way in which some personalities were displayed and that the books reflect anti Catholic and inaccurate bias. The articles are not just a guideline for people who have not read the books but something to check back on for those of us who have both read the books and seen the drama. They are also great referance for us historians who do know something of the life of Cromwell and the events being shown. Although it cannot be denied that Hilary Mantel has done her homework, the historic accuracy is almost spot on, there are of course the usual changes either for dramatic purposes or because this is how the fictional author sees things. What we must recall is that the drama is fiction and not fact; it may be good fiction, but it is still fiction and we see most things through the eyes of Cromwell, who according to HM has a personal grudge against all at court an d his motives for the deaths of those around him, the Queen and the five men is some warped revenge for them insulting Cardinal Wolsey. These articles are a good resource for rebalancing the books. Good work, Claire as always.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *