Wed, 10 Dec 2014
Cromwell

Thomas Cromwell
by Tracy Borman

I've almost had enough of the Tudors - but not quite. it's hard to look away sometime, like a public execution. Of course, executions were fairly common around Henry's court. What a great cast as well!

I enjoyed Borman's book about the rise and fall of Henry's great minister but there were parts I found hard going, especially the numerous quotations from contemporary sources and all their variant spellings. It was often tough getting through these and I would have rather she spent more time in her own voice, expounding more background.

I think this period is one of the first where documentary records start getting much better but for someone of Cromwell's background, there are still many gaps unfortunately. He starts life at the bottom (something he is constantly reminded of by his noble born associates), clawing his way to the top by sheer hard work and talent. As well as his own, he has a skill in recognising talent in others. He rode the tiger but it did eventually turn round and devour him.

Cromwell died by the axe, and not the clean sword strike that took Boleyn's head. Judicially murdered essentially, but not before he had committed many others to a similar fate. A lasting legacy though and a fascinating character.

Homo homini lupus.

And of course, greatly looking forward to The Mirror and the Light.