I'm coming to the end of the final book in Hilary Mantel's 'Wolf Hall' trilogy, The Mirror and the Light. It's a big book !! Poor old Thomas Cromwell is on his end game as Henry VIII expresses his dissatisfaction with his fourth wife Anna of Cleves. (What she must have thought of a big fat aging Henry is hinted at by Hilary. Legend has it she was rejected because she was ugly, but the Hilary doesn't really go with that. And that idea originated with the King himself by all accounts. I'd call that cover on his part !!) Anyway, I know what happens to Thomas in the end, that is reasonably factual, and the Plantagenets and the Tudors have always interested me, so I was never in doubt where it would end. Given this I started to re-watch the BBC Series 'Wolf Hall' based on the first two books in parallel with finalising this last novel. I'll say this for Hilary, her writing is powerfully atmospheric. You can almost smell the 16th Century !!! (Not that I'd know what the 16th Century smelt like, I'm not that ******* old !!) The TV series is exactly how I pictured the books, although I don't know if the author would agree. One thing I feel fairly sure about, each member of a really great cast must have read the first two books to get the feel of the characters they were playing, because they all fit the descriptions with perfection. If they do dramatize this final book with the original cast, I think they're going to have to pad Damien Lewis out a bit as Henry VIII. He was for sure athletic and strong in his youth, but all that was gone by the time he hooked up with with Anna. (Not that he actually 'hooked up' if you know what I mean. ) It's all really top class stuff.