St Cross Fellow Diarmaid MacCulloch Publishes 'Thomas Cromwell: A Life'


St Cross Fellow Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford, has published a major new work, 'Thomas Cromwell: A Life', a definitive biography of a man who, born into poverty in Putney, rose to political prominence as a problem-solver and 'fixer' in the service of Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII. Cromwell has occupied historians since the 16th century, and captured imaginations as a central figure at a time of significant religious and political upheaval.

Diarmaid describes his book as revealing 'a new Thomas Cromwell, emerging from my scrutiny of...his vast surviving archive'. This period of history is, he says, 'one of the great turning points in the history of Great Britain and Ireland...the Protestant Reformation was embraced, and conditions were created for a union with England's ancient enemy, Scotland. We live in the slipstream of all this'.

In the words of Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall, the Booker Prize-winning fictional account of Cromwell's rise to power:

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.

Diarmaid will be officially launching the book on Tuesday 25 September at Shakespeare's Globe in conversation with Baroness Kennedy. Details here.

We are delighted that Diarmaid is our speaker at the St Cross London Winter Drinks, our annual alumni event. Details here.


Read further (external links):

Interview with HistoryExtra

Guardian Review

The Times Review (£)

FT Review


Ella Bedrock

25 September 2018