“Wolf Hall” Returns

In 2009, Hilary Mantel won the Booker Prize for her first Cromwell novel, “Wolf Hall.” She then followed it with a second novel “Bring Up the Bodies,” in 2012, which also won the Booker Prize.  Not only did these books win critical acclaim, they were also extremely popular with readers.

It isn’t surprising that PBS has jumped on the bandwagon and produced a six-part series based on the two books, which will air on “Masterpiece” on April 5.9780312429980_p0_v4_s114x166Starring Damian Lewis as Henry and Mark Rylance as Cromwell, the series was hugely popular in England.  It averaged 4.4 million viewers a week.

American fans of the books do not have to wait until April because The Royal Shakespeare Company is presently presenting “Wolf Hall- Part I and II” at the Winter Garden Theater in New York.  When the two parts are performed together, the play’s running time is five and a half hours.

The play and the television productions will definitely generate renewed interest in the books and related materials.  This evening a patron requested the play “A Man For All Seasons” to brush up on the era.

Hilary Mantel is currently working on the third volume in the series.  “The Mirror and the Light” which chronicle the last four years of Cromwell’s life.  She will probably have a sure-fire winner when it is published.

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