The place of the Reformation in modern biography, fiction and the media
in The Debate on the English Reformation
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The historical fiction of Sir Walter Scott was enormously popular throughout the English-speaking world and confirmed Britain in its vogue for the Middle Ages. The English Reformation debate is not at the centre of most popular fiction, drama and film. Even in popular biographies the debate is on the periphery while centre stage is occupied by the personality of the subject. Eric Ives ends his biographical article with an interesting section on Anne Boleyn's reputation and in it draws attention to her portrayal in the media. A cluster of historical films set in the Tudor period demand our attention because they demonstrate something of how film about the Tudors has been used to serve particular current agendas. Robert Bolt's Thomas Cromwell is the crafty statesman, influenced by Machiavelli, who uses every weapon in his armoury to remove threats to his own position such as that presented by Thomas More.

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