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In 1529, as Cardinal Wolsey receives news of his dismissal as Lord Chancellor, his lawyer, Thomas Cromwell, reminisces about how he and Wolsey met and the events leading up to the Cardinal's downfall.

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Robert Wilfort ...
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Anne Cromwell
Athena Droutis ...
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Joss Porter ...
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Storyline

Thomas Cromwell's (Mark Rylance) patron, Cardinal Wolsey (Jonathan Pryce), is dismissed as Lord Chancellor and forced to flee his palace at York Place. The old noble families of England, jealous of their own right to advise the King, have long waited for this moment. Cromwell readies Wolsey's palace in exile at Esher and sets forth a plan to return him to the King's favour. Thomas More (Anton Lesser) is appointed Lord Chancellor in the Cardinal's place. The Cardinal has not endeared himself in Court, with many believing him to be too powerful and greedy. Eight years ago, at the height of the Cardinal's career, he made an enemy of Thomas Boleyn (David Robb) by chastising him for his daughter Anne's far from virtuous reputation. As rumours circulated in Court that Anne was secretly betrothed to Harry Percy (Harry Lloyd), the Cardinal insisted that no such match would be allowed. Still lacking a male heir, the King is desperate for an annulment from his marriage to Katherine of Aragon (...

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dinner | bed | father figure | See All (3) »

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Drama | History

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5 April 2015 (USA)  »

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Quotes

Thomas Cromwell: [Thomas at the Protestant meeting arguing wich is better Wolsey or Moore] ... WOlsey protects us.
Protestant: Wolsey? Wolsey burns bibles.
Thomas Cromwell: Moore will burn men.
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A Masterpiece of Historical Drama
13 April 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

We are treated here to a firestorm that involves Henry VIII's efforts to get his marriage to Catherine of Aragon annulled. He, of course, claimed that the marriage was never consummated. There is the crude joke about his coming out of his bedroom saying that he was in Spain last night. Cardinal Wolsey, who has a moral compass, with his dear confidante, Thomas Cromwell, try to stay afloat, despite the vengeful oversight of the monarch. Catherine is out, of course, and enter Anne Boleyn to try to produce an heir for Henry. Cromwell, who must navigate alone because his mentor is so ill, tries to "keep the faith." Cromwell came from common stock, growing up as a blacksmith, abused both verbally and physically by his father, a true beast. There is an interesting scene as Thomas goes along with his wife's wishes and visits the awful man (with a devastating flashback presented for us). All the subtext is in place and we are ready for the ride, going into the second episode.


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