Reviews

  • Sir Diarmaid MacCulloch is one of finest historians in the English-speaking world and preeminent in the area of the English Reformation. He has combined his expertise in 16th-century history with a compelling literary style in his latest book ... the definitive work on Henry VIII's great minister and an extraordinary insight into the politics and religion of the age, and of any age for that matter. Thomas Cromwell's somewhat dark reputation was given a new and bright shine by Hilary Mantel in the Wolf Hall trilogy and this life takes us from the fictional into the authentic; its triumph is that it is just as thrilling and equally stimulating and challenging. A profoundly important book.

    Rev. Michael Coren, Spectator
  • Thomas Cromwell has famously defied his biographers, but no more. Diarmaid MacCulloch's book is subtle, witty and precisely constructed. He has sifted the vast archive to clear away the accumulated error, muddle and propaganda of centuries, allowing us to see this clever and fascinating man better than ever before, and in the mirror of his times. This is the biography we have been awaiting for 400 years

    Hilary Mantel
  • Balances a wealth of particular detail with a consistent grasp on the larger story, and holds the attention for the whole of its formidable length ... a model of classical historical biography at its finest

    Rowan Williams, New Statesman
  • Triumphant and definitive ... a masterpiece of documentary detective-work, which buzzes with the excitement of a great historian immersed in archives

    Dan Jones, Sunday Times
  • Anyone looking for the true story of Wolf Hall will be challenged, but also mightily rewarded

    Jessie Childs, Guardian
  • MacCulloch's skill is to introduce even the general reader to the thrill of a historian's process ... and, golly, can MacCulloch make a Tudor paper-trail seem exciting

    Kate Maltby, Financial Times
  • Meticulous and magisterial ... If this is not the definitive biography, I don't know what that would look like

    Peter Marshall, Literary Review
  • Thrilling ... A human drama replete with sickening bloodshed, intrigue, torture and treachery

    Robert McCrum, Observer
  • Captivating and definitive ... MacCulloch gives us depth and perspective on the contradictions and inconsistencies of a man who improvised just as much as he choreographed his way to power

    Marcus Nevitt, Spectator
  • This book is the counter-weight to fiction and speculation, a formidably detailed and precise account ... This book is the work of an internationally renowned historian at the top of his game

    Lucy Wooding, Times Literary Supplement