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  • Published: 16 July 2019
  • ISBN: 9780241952337
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 752
  • RRP: $32.00
Categories:

Thomas Cromwell

A Life




'This is the biography we have been awaiting for 400 years' - Hilary Mantel

Born in obscurity in Putney, Thomas Cromwell became a fixer for Cardinal Wolsey. After Wolsey's fall, Henry VIII promoted him to a series of ever greater offices, and by the 1530s he was effectively running the country for the King. That decade saw a religious break with the Pope, the dissolution of all monasteries and the coming of the Protestantism. Cromwell was central to all this, but establishing his role with precision has been notoriously difficult.

This book reveals this elusive figure as never before, making connections not previously seen and revealing the channels through which power in early Tudor England flowed. It overturns many received interpretations, for example that Cromwell and Anne Boleyn were allies because of their common religious sympathies, showing how he in fact destroyed her. It introduces the many different personalities contributing to these foundational years, all worrying about the 'terrifyingly unpredictable' Henry VIII, and allows readers to feel that all this is going on around them. For a time, the self-made 'ruffian', as he described himself - ruthless, adept in the exercise of power, quietly determined in religious revolution - was master of events. Diarmaid MacCulloch's biography for the first time reveals his true place in the making of modern England and Ireland, for good and ill.

  • Published: 16 July 2019
  • ISBN: 9780241952337
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 752
  • RRP: $32.00
Categories:

About the author

Diarmaid MacCulloch

Diarmaid MacCulloch is Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford and a Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford. His Thomas Cranmer (1996) won the Whitbread Biography Award, the James Tait Black Prize and the Duff Cooper Prize; Reformation: Europe's House Divided (2003) won the Wolfson Prize for History and the British Academy Book Prize. A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years and the BBC television series based on it appeared in 2009; the book won the Cundill Prize, the world's largest history prize, in 2010. His television series How God Made the English aired on BBC2 in March 2012. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and was knighted in the New Year's Honours List of 2012.

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Praise for Thomas Cromwell

Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch is one of finest historians in the English-speaking world and preeminent in the area of the English Reformation. He has combined his expertise in 16th-century history with a compelling literary style in his latest book ... the definitive work on Henry VIII's great minister and an extraordinary insight into the politics and religion of the age, and of any age for that matter. Thomas Cromwell's somewhat dark reputation was given a new and bright shine by Hilary Mantel in the Wolf Hall trilogy and this life takes us from the fictional into the authentic; its triumph is that it is just as thrilling and equally stimulating and challenging. A profoundly important book.

Rev. Michael Coren, Spectator

Meticulous and magisterial ... If this is not the definitive biography, I don't know what that would look like

Peter Marshall, Literary Review

A model of classical historical biography at its finest

Rowan Williams, New Statesman

Triumphant and definitive ... a masterpiece of documentary detective-work, which buzzes with the excitement of a great historian immersed in archives

Dan Jones, Sunday Times

The Tudor minister brought to fictional life in Wolf Hall is given a definitive scholarly treatment in this long-awaited, masterful, wry biography

Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph (Books of the Year)

The definitive biography ... exhaustively researched and superbly written

Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times (Books of the Year)

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