***** “A familiar tale infused with thrilling originality of storytelling”
Mark Lawson, The Guardian
***** “Moments are breathtaking in their simplicity”
Sarah Crompton, The Telegraph
**** “Hilary Mantel's prizewinning Cromwell novels transfer to the stage with verve”
Ismene Brown, The Arts Desk.com
*****/**** “The intrigue fizzes, and the dialogue continually surprises, switching between delicious lyricism and a bracing simplicity”
Henry Hitchens, The Evening Standard
England in 1527. Henry VIII has been King for almost 20 years and is desperate for a male heir. Intent on divorce he demands that Cardinal Wolsey persuade the Pope to grant him an annulment. With every month that passes without progress the King's anger grows. Into this volatile court enters the commoner Thomas Cromwell. A one-time mercenary, master-politician, lawyer and doting father, he sets out to grant the King his desire whilst methodically and ruthlessly pursuing his own reforming agenda.
Anne Boleyn is now Queen, her path to Henry's side cleared by Cromwell. But Henry remains without a male heir, and the conflict with the Catholic Church has left England dangerously isolated as France and the Holy Roman Empire ominously manoeuvre for position. When the King begins to fall in love with the seemingly plain Jane Seymour, Cromwell must negotiate an increasingly dangerous court as he charms, bullies and manipulates nobility, commoners and foreign powers alike to satisfy Henry, keep the nation safe, and advance his own ambitions.