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Assuming the power recently lost by the disgraced Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Cromwell counsels a mercurial Henry VIII on the latter's efforts to marry Anne Boleyn against the wishes of Rome, a successful endeavor that comes with a dangerous price. Employing a vast array of historical characters, and a story overflowing with incident, the author turns Tudor England into a compelling piece of fiction. Mantel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairsbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death. -- from Book Jacket.

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