Wolf Hall by
Bound by Peter Jones
The binding uses multicoloured leathers scarf jointed, inlaid or onlaid with further
inlays of oak and onlays of vellum and paper manuscripts.
The design is a combination and abstraction of a number of images resulting from the reading of Wolf Hall.
They are representative of persons, places or occurrences, reading in a time line generally from left to right
across the whole of the binding seen with both boards open. The back board indicates Cromwell’s early life, the
cobbles of Putney and the muddy banks of the Thames. There is the death of his wife and children, a door with a
straw bundle fixed to it, the flash of a white cap, real or imaginary, and the influence of Cardinal Wolsey growing
from small beginnings, becoming paramount then tailing off. Wolsey’s rough timber coffin also features as does
a reference to Cromwell’s early experiences in commerce and accounting. The spine has Cromwell in all his
finery while the front board indicates his greater involvement with the state, church, parliament, court and the
gathering of his own personal fortune, building a new wing on his property and a treasure room to hold his
increasing wealth of plate. There is his ability to weave words growing increasingly towards the foredge of
the binding. Flashes of red, seen also on the coloured edges and silk headbands, indicate the continuing
legacy of Wolsey, as does a turquoise band for the ring gifted from Wolsey to Cromwell, while
underlying it all is the constant presence of the Thames.