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Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell is all wrong, but does it matter?

Wolf Hall is filmed and acted in such a naturalistic style, you might be fooled into thinking it was true. There were abuses, but we know that monasteries were much valued as centres of pilgrimage and sources of spiritual help as well as education and health care. But Cromwell cared nothing for the truth. He was a fanatic. He and his agents made up revolting lies about monks which they spread in lip-smacking pornographic pamphlets, notably The Black Book.