In which I, Thomas Cromwell, return with my exhausting present tense to dissolve the monasteries. Silly old me!.
By John Crace
“It is a great honour to receive you here at Wolf Hall, your majesty,” says old Sir John Seymour, fresh from tupping his daughter-in-law’s quinny. “Though I had rather been expecting you some three years ago, when the first book came out.”
Thomas Cromwell observes Henry’s eyes lingering on Jane Seymour’s heaving, virginal bosom. “The King is tiring of Anne and there is no male successor,” he thinks to himself. “A wise Master Secretary would do well to prepare the way for a third marriage –”
“A wiser Master Secretary would do better to ruminate for a while on the death of his wife and daughters, and conduct imaginary conversations with Sir Thomas More in which he expresses regret that the former Lord Chancellor refused to swear the oath of succession and thus condemned himself to the block,” Hilary interrupts urgently.
“And why should I want to do that?’ Cromwell snaps, his mind already on how much money he can make from the dissolution of the monasteries.
“Because I’m trying to rewrite you as Mr Nice Guy, you moron,” Hilary says. “Instead of the hard bastard you undoubtedly are.”
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