Looking for ourselves in Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall
This podcast is made up of two separate discussions that have emerged from a particular book: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, which was broadcast as a BBC TV drama in January and February of 2015.
As I explain in the podcast I came across the book quite recently, as I have been doing some research around topics related to the Protestant reformation in Scotland.
In the first longer section of this show, I explore some of the issues of Reformation, and how the politics of England – particularly related to King Henry VIII and his heirs (Mary and Elizabeth) set up certain issues for what happened later in Scotland, and how the two are related to each other in a number of ways.
The second section is shorter but still relates to the Wolf Hall book by Mantel. An important starting point for the book is the downfall of the English Cardinal Wolsey, who was thrown out of office by King Henry VIII. There are some painful resonances here for me, particularly what I call the ‘York Place’ moment when it all turns from success to defeat.