By Charles Matthews

Sunday, April 18, 2010

22. "Wolf Hall," by Hilary Mantel, pp. 359-372

Part V, I, "Anna Regina," 1533, continued, from "In March, news comes from Calais that Lord Berners has died...." through "...He opens his palm; in it a needle, tip toward her."
Visiting Anne, Cromwell sees Jane Seymour, who is obviously bullied by Lady Rochford and Anne. They talk about Katherine's plotting against Anne with the Plantagenet claimants to the throne.

With the king, he sees Chapuys, who persists in referring to "Dr. Cranmer" rather than "the archbishop" and when he mentions "Queen Katherine," the king asks, "Who? You mean my late brother's wife, the Princess of Wales?"

The king makes Cromwell chancellor of the exchequer, which was Lord Berners' post.

Cromwell decides that Helen Barre's husband is dead and resolves to "tell her she is free."

Watching the expressions of the courtiers in the presence of Anne, he thinks, "Arrange your face, Nicholas Carew, your ancient family face. He hears Anne saying, these are my enemies: he adds Carew to the list."

The king sends Cromwell to talk to Katherine about what is to happen after the dissolution of their marriage. He suggests that Cromwell leave Rafe Sadler with him: "I can rely on him to say what Cromwell would say." Then he weeps because his sister, Brandon's wife, is so ill. He is also bothered by having to declare Mary Tudor a bastard. And he decides that Richard Cromwell should not marry Mary Boleyn. Back home, Cromwell breaks the news to Richard, saying that Henry "needs Mary for himself" because "he is afraid to touch Anne" during her pregnancy. He proposes a marriage to Frances Murfyn, daughter of the Lord Mayor, instead.

He goes to see Katherine, who refers to Cranmer as a heretic, but calls the king only a schismatic. She notes that the archbishop will be excommunicated. But she also says to Cromwell, "I shall be sorry if I don't see you again. You are so much quicker in conversation than the dukes."

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