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Thomas Wolsey: 500th anniversary of becoming Lord Chancellor of England

Written by · Published Dec 1, 2015

Stained-glass window depicting Thomas Wolsey

500 years ago, on 24 December 1515, Thomas Wolsey was appointed Lord Chancellor of England. Learn more about the local man with these books and DVDs.

Wolf hall by Hilary Mantel

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

A fictionalised account of the rise of Thomas Cromwell, who became Thomas Wolsey’s right-hand man during Henry VIII’s first marriage to Catherine of Aragon, and eventually orchestrated the King’s marriage to Anne Boleyn. A long read, but don’t be put off by the size of the book, it’s a truly gripping story! You can also listen to it as an audiobook.

Wolf Hall BBC series

Wolf Hall BBC series

Peter Straughan condensed the first two in Hilary Mantel’s trilogy into a six-part television series for the BBC. Widely praised by television critics.

Thomas Cromwell by Tracy Borman

Thomas Cromwell by Tracy Borman

Borman skilfully unpicks the political movements of Cromwell throughout his career, serving both the King and Thomas Wolsey. She expertly highlights the fatal actions that caused his downfall, as well as his own ear-bending, which led to the execution of Anne Boleyn.

Wolsey: the life of King Henry VIII’s cardinal by John Matusiak

Wolsey: the life of King Henry VIII's cardinal by John Matusiak

A lighter read than most academic biographies of Wolsey. Matusiak has made a great effort to consider Wolsey’s internal self. He is presented not just as proud and cavalier, but also as a perfectionist, who would overload himself with work and became prone to bursts of anger when under pressure and stress-related illness. Matusiak demonstrates how more and more was expected of the King’s chief advisor, until he eventually cracked.

The Tudors TV series

The Tudors TV series

A sensational portrayal of the reign of King Henry VIII and his relationships with the court and the six women he married. Wonderfully acted and beautifully shot.

Henry VIII by BBC Shakespeare

Henry VIII by BBC Shakespeare

Well-acted two-part series documenting the turbulent 38-year reign of King Henry VIII. Thomas Wolsey is played by Timothy West.

Emma Raindle

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