Wolf Hall: Master of Phantoms is a great episode of television. It’s the subtle moments that make it.
-Anne being so petty and mean to her underlings like Rochford and Smeaton…and you know fine well she will pay for this. She’s smart. But she not that smart, you know?
-Cromwell getting noticeably angry when he realizes they might burn Anne at the stake. He might want her dead, but he doesn’t want it like that.
-Anne literally weeping and trembling in fear when she’s getting executed…but still having to tell everyone how wonderful and nice Henry is, mostly for the sake of her child. She’s an awful person, sure, but she did the right thing in the end. Her daughter may have been the only person she did love.
-The look of absolute sadness and distaste on Cromwell’s face when Henry gives him that big, warm hug at the end. He feels more badly about Henry’s wife being dead than Henry does.
For fans of the show we present books and authors featured in recent episodes. Clockwise from top left: 1556 edition of Thomas More’s Utopia, translated by Ralph Robinson: spine, title page, and first page; 1537 edition of Tyndale’s New Testament in English (two pages), painted decoupage end papers.
Photo of Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell in episode 4 of the BBC Two adaptation of Wolf Hall from BBC.