henry VIII

Final thoughts on Wolf Hall

Well. Wolf Hall came to an end last night and I am still REELING from the final, brutal, awe inspiringly bleak episode, which charted Cromwell’s part in the swift and shocking demise of Anne Boleyn. What an absolutely wonderful series and almost certainly one of the best that I have ever seen. As you know, I had really high expectations for the adaptations of Hilary Mantel’s brilliant novels and I have to say that they have been completely surpassed by Wolf Hall. Yes, it started off slowly (which I think lost some viewers right at the very outset), but it […]

Tudor fun at Hampton Court Palace

As you will all no doubt know by now, I have been a fan of the Historic Royal Palace team’s work for a really long time. It’s hard to think of many other organisations so wholeheartedly committed to bringing the past to life and who consistently work so hard to make learning about history so fun and fresh and relevant to modern day audiences. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they take care of such a fascinating array of properties but while other organisations might perhaps take a more conservative approach, they prefer instead to take a much more modern, […]

Wolf Hall – 1. Three Card Trick

Well, like no doubt millions of people I tuned in last night for the first episode of the long awaited BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies (Thomas Cromwell Trilogy Book 2). As you might imagine, as a HUGE fan of the books and the RSC play, I was pretty much pre-disposed to absolutely love the television series too but there was still a tiny little sneaking worry there too. I mean, what if I HATED it? What then? However, I’m pleased (and very relieved!) to report that I really loved it and can’t wait […]

Wolf Hall: Costume and Authenticity

My recent post about the upcoming series of Wolf Hall sparked a bit of a lively debate about the costuming over on my Facebook page, with some criticisms of the ‘Victorian mourning bonnet’ hoods and wrinkled bodices. Personally, I think it looks great but then I’m not a massive stickler for total authenticity when it comes to costume dramas. Oh, I know what it SHOULD look like but I watch such little television that when I DO make the effort to watch something, I really just want to be entertained rather than educated. I read books and go on excursions […]

Wolf Hall on BBC2

As you probably all know by now, I am a MASSIVE HUUUGE fan of Hilary Mantel’s series of books about Thomas Cromwell (in fact, I’ve been a MASSIVE HUUUGE fan of Hilary Mantel since I picked up A Place of Greater Safety a couple of days after it was first published) and have been beside myself with excitement about the upcoming television series, which is due to hit BBC2 on the 21st of January. Hurray. I was pleased as punch to finally see the trailer last night but fell asleep before I could share it with you all. I know, […]

Windsor Castle

When I posted the other day about my forthcoming fortieth birthday (eek!), many of you expressed astonishment that I had ‘visit Windsor Castle’ on my Things To Do Before I Turn Forty List. Which is fair enough – after all, I am a history blogger and have been resident in the UK for my entire life so far so how come I’ve never managed to visit? The thing is that I HAD actually been to Windsor Castle before. Well, sort of. I spent a lovely afternoon in the private bit of the estate, near Frogmore House, there a couple of […]