Henry’s horrible history: You won’t find any left-handers or extras in specs. Accuracy is king in the most eagerly anticipated TV event of the year… but how does Wolf Hall stand up to the scrutiny of one historian?
By Lucy Worsely
PUBLISHED: 17:01 EDT, 3 January 2015 | UPDATED: 04:31 EDT, 4 January 2015
You won’t find any left-handers in Henry’s court. Or extras in specs. Or XXL codpieces. Accuracy is king in the most eagerly anticipated TV event of the new year… but how does Wolf Hall stand up to the scrutiny of historian Lucy Worsley? Event joined her behind the scenes to find out
His Tudor costume weighs a ton, held together by a complex arrangement of pins; there are no sewing-machine seams, zips or modern fastenings to simplify the laborious chore of dressing.
Yet Homeland star Damian Lewis is not only comfortable in King Henry VIII’s velvet robes, but is alarmed – and delighted – to discover character traits he shares with England’s most famous king.
Like Henry, he suffered concussion after an accident – though he tumbled from a motorbike, rather than from a steed during a vigorous bout of jousting.
I was intrigued to find Lewis shared the latest historical theory that the accident may have triggered great change in the monarch and led to his descent into tyranny and darkness.
‘I’ve suffered from concussion myself from a motorbike crash,’ he explains.
‘I spent three months afterwards getting into needless fights and suffering from bouts of depression, unable to watch TV or read because of migraines.
‘I would often not get dressed and just do puzzles in my flat.
‘So I think it’s absolutely plausible that it had an effect on Henry’s character.’
He adds: ‘I think we all have an understanding that Henry was a womanising, syphilitic, bloated, genocidal Elvis character.
‘But in the period I play him he had a 32in waist and was much taller than anyone else. His beautiful pale complexion was often remarked on.
‘I found that the grandiose, more paranoid, self-indulgent, self-pitying, cruel Henry emerged in the period after this.’
Read the rest of the article here