Peter J Gwyn

The King's Cardinal
  • The King's Cardinal

  • Proud, greedy, corrupt and driven by overwhelming personal ambition. Such is the traditional image of Thomas Wolsey, Lord Chancellor, Archbishop of York, Bishop of Winchester, Abbot of St. Albans, Bishop if Tournai and Papal Legate. It is an image which Peter Gwyn examines, challenges and decisively overturns in this remarkable book.

    From exceedingly humble beginnings Wolsey rose to a pinnacle of power unsurpassed by any other British commoner. Peter Gwyn explores every aspect of the Cardinal's career - not least his relationship with Henry VIII - and sets it firmly in a vividly recreated Tudor world. The Wolsey who emerges is a man of prodigious energy and ability, a tireless dispenser of justice, an enlightened reformer wholly dedicated to his king and country - a man who has been consistently misrepresented and maligned for four-and-a-half centuries.

Peter Gwyn taught history at Winchester College, where he was also the archivist from 1965 to 1976. He was elected Bowra Fellow at Wadham College, Oxford for 1981-2. He worked on this biography of Thomas Wolsey for eleven years.