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Wolf Hall | Chapter Summaries

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Timeline of Events

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Epigraphs The novel is preceded by two epigraphs, or short quotations setting the scene for the book. The first is a paragraph fro... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 1 Wolf Hall opens as 15-year-old Thomas Cromwell lies on a courtyard floor, bleeding profusely and vomiting from injuries ... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 2 In 1527 Thomas Cromwell—now "a little over forty"—has a barbed exchange with Stephen Gardiner. Gardiner, a "semi-royal b... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 3 Cromwell's wife, Lizzie (also called Liz), greets him at his main London home, Austin Friars. They read a letter from th... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 1 As Part 2 of Wolf Hall begins, the king's men are "stripping York Place of its owner"—taking away everything identifying... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 2 According to legend, the Tudors are said to descend from a Trojan named Brutus who fought and killed a race of giants. P... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 3 On the eve of All Saints' Day Thomas Cromwell keeps vigil alone at Esher, praying for the souls of the dead. He longs fo... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 1 Thomas Cromwell, still loyal to Wolsey, comes to the attention of Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk and Anne Boleyn's u... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 2 Cromwell goes to York Place in London, which once belonged to Wolsey. Anne Boleyn lives there now. Since it is Lent, a t... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 3 In the middle of the night Cromwell's household is awakened by loud knocking. It is William Brereton, summoning Cromwell... Read More
Part 4, Chapter 1 Cromwell has been busy in collaboration with Cranmer, writing legislation. One of his innovations is the idea to declare... Read More
Part 4, Chapter 2 As Parliament prepares to meet in January, Cranmer is away in Germany drumming up support for Henry's divorce. Cromwell ... Read More
Part 4, Chapter 3 When Cromwell wakes up the next morning from a poor night's sleep, the king has already left for Mass. Cromwell recalls ... Read More
Part 5, Chapter 1 For a time Cromwell attends to his own household; among other things he takes in orphans and widows and gives them work ... Read More
Part 5, Chapter 2 Anne delivers her child, but it is a girl—not the boy she and Henry hoped for. The child is given the name Elizabeth. ... Read More
Part 5, Chapter 3 Hans Holbein, an artist, has painted a portrait of Cromwell. It shows him with a quill, scissors, papers, his seal in a ... Read More
Part 6, Chapter 1 Henry wishes he had access to the wealth owned by the Catholic Church in England, and Cromwell wants to give him this ac... Read More
Part 6, Chapter 2 Pope Clement has died, there is a new pope—whom the English now call the Bishop of Rome—and Henry's situation seems secu... Read More
Part 6, Chapter 3 Thomas More's trial is a quick and dramatic affair. More insults the Solicitor General, Richard Riche, and maintains suc... Read More
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