By Charles Matthews

Saturday, April 17, 2010

21. "Wolf Hall," by Hilary Mantel, pp. 343-359

Part V, I, "Anna Regina," 1533, through "...a child in the womb is not an heir in the cradle."
Cromwell adds a young woman, Helen Barre, with two small children to his household. She has been deserted by her husband, who beat her. He has also added Christophe, a boy who worked at the tavern where he met he three old men who represented Maître Camillo.

Henry and Anne renew their Calais vows on January 25, 1533, in a chapel at Whitehall, with "a huddle of witnesses," including William Brereton, who threatens, "Keep away from my family's affairs. Or you'll come off worse, Master Cromwell, than you can imagine." The priest is Rowland Lee, a friend of Cromwell's. As the wedding party leaves, Mary Boleyn gives him a sign that Anne is pregnant: "She had always said, I will be the first to know. It will be me who lets out her bodices." He concludes that the king probably doesn't know yet. And he tells Brereton "you have made a mistake in threatening me."

Cromwell meets with the designated Archbishop of Canterbury, who still has to be approved by the Pope, Thomas Cranmer. He tells Cranmer that Anne is pregnant, and Cranmer observes that "officially" he's not supposed to know even that Henry and Anne are married. "As I am to be judge in the matter of the king's old marriage, it would not be proper for me to hear that his new one has already taken place."

Anne summons him to tell him that she wants her sister to be married off. She thinks of Richard Cromwell, his nephew, because he's related to the Tudors.

In the Tower, he meets with John Frith, who was imprisoned by More while Cromwell was in Calais. He notes that Frith is married. "The one thing the king cannot abide -- no, many things he cannot abide -- but he hates married priests. And he hates Luther, and you have translated Luther into English." So Cromwell fears he can't help keep Frith from being burned at the stake for heresy. Frith is unrepentant about his beliefs.

In discussing the prospect of Richard's marrying Mary, Rafe observes that "all our lives and fortunes depend now on" Anne Boleyn, "and as well as being mutable she is mortal."

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