After last week’s episode, I’m sure a great number of Tudor fans are already gripped at this television adaption of Hilary Mantel’s Booker-Prize winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies. And it seems episode two does not look to disappoint either…
After her rise in the King’s favour, Anne Boleyn (played by straight-faced, no-nonsense Claire Foy) summons Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance) to her in order to establish whether he is an ally or an enemy for her cause. In this episode, under Cardinal Wolsey’s advice, Cromwell complies with Anne’s orders so that he may attempt to persuade her that the Cardinal must be allowed to come back to court. During his time in Anne’s company, Cromwell witnesses her harsh treatment of her ladies-in-waiting, including that of Jane Seymour who he shows compassion for.
Entirely Beloved sheds light on how Henry VIII became aware of Cromwell’s talents at court as a mediator and administrator, and increasingly comes to depend on and take advice from the lawyer. Henry (played by Damian Lewis) clearly admires Cromwell for his loyalty to the Cardinal – the King too struggles to come to terms with what to do with Wolsey now that he has been banished. This is the man who had administered the Kingdom and supported the King for a great number of years.
Yet, like a sharp blow, news comes to the King that Cardinal Wolsey has been taken as a prisoner by Harry Percy for treason – an act of vengeance after the Cardinal’s supposed involvement in ending Percy’s betrothal to Anne Boleyn eight years prior to this. The Cardinal is swiftly transferred down to London, his place of arrival set to be the Tower of London, yet his health deteriorates the further he travels…
Entirely Beloved will be broadcast on Wednesday 28th January at 9pm on BBC Two.
The episode will be available to watch online after the programme is aired.
This episode was adapted from Hilary Mantel’s book by Peter Straughan, directed by Peter Kosminsky and produced by Mark Pybus.
Photo credit: BBC/Company Productions Ltd