Wolf Hall has taken America by storm. This miniseries, based on two books by Hilary Mantel, ended its run on PBS on Sunday, but if you can’t get enough of descriptive and atmospheric historical settings, palace intrigue and political machinations, here are a few books to try while you wait for Mantel’s ending to her Thomas Cromwell trilogy (due next year).
The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George - When Henry VIII becomes king, he is handsome and trusting, but the king's jester, Will, watches him become cruel and suspicious, as people try to control him.
Dark Fire by C.J. Sansom - When a friend's niece is charged with murder and threatened with torture for her refusal to speak, 1540 lawyer Matthew Shardlake is granted a reprieve to investigate the case if he will also accept a dangerous assignment to find a legendary weapon.
John Saturnall’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk - Taken in at the kitchens at Buckland Manor after the cruel death of his mother, young John quickly rises from kitchen boy to cook before catching the attention of the daughter of the lord of the manor, who resolves to starve herself until her father calls off her unwanted engagement.
The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir - A vivid fictional portrait of the tumultuous early life of Queen Elizabeth I describes her perilous path to the throne of England and the scandal, political intrigues, and religious turmoil she confronted along the way.
Shadow on the Crown by Patricia Bracewell – Marrying the much-older king of England in the year 1002, sixteen-year-old Emma of Normandy is surrounded by a treacherous court and regarded as a threat by her husband before drawing on her wits to gain a few friends and protect her station.
The Queen of Subtleties by Suzannah Dunn - Queen Anne Boleyn chronicles the impact her marriage to Henry VIII had on England before being accused of adultery with several men and sentenced to beheading, while king's confectioner Lucy Cornwallis witnesses the tragic events that culminate in Anne's death.
To the Tower Born by Robin Maxwell - A tale based on the five-hundred-year-old unsolved disappearances of lost princes Edward and Richard of York finds English printer's daughter Nell Caxton growing up alongside the royal children and witnessing the schemes of ambitious people, including Richard III, to overtake the throne.
All descriptions from Novelist.