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Library Happenings – Masterpiece warms up January (Jan. 7, 2015 issue)

I used to think of January as a dull month sandwiched between the excitement of Christmas and the possibilities of Valentine’s Day. The only things to look forward to in January were short days, cold nights and avoiding getting sick.
Things are different now: We have “Downton Abbey.” Cold nights are not so bad when you curl up with the latest installment of your favorite show. And if you should get sick, you can binge-watch last season on DVD or Blu-ray. Conveniently, your library has Season 4 available in both formats.
But “Downton Abbey” is only the first series of a stellar lineup on Masterpiece for 2015. “Wolf Hall” is set to premiere April 5. It is based on the 2009 Man Booker Prize-winning novel of that name by Hilary Mantel and its sequel, “Bring Up the Bodies,” which also claimed the Booker Prize in 2012.
The saga follows the career of Thomas Cromwell, the lawyer and statesman who rose from obscurity to be Henry VIII’s chief minister. In the first book, Cromwell engineers Henry’s divorce from Katherine of Aragon so he can marry Anne Boleyn. When Anne loses the King’s favor in the second volume, Cromwell ensures she loses her head, as well.
Given his role in Anne’s destruction, Cromwell may not sound like a sympathetic character, but reserve your judgment until you have read the books or seen the series. As presented to us by Mantel, I like him immensely.
In addition to the television series, “Wolf Hall Parts One and Two,” the London stage adaptations of the books, will be coming to Broadway in March. With all the current excitement about “Wolf Hall”, 2015 would be the perfect time for Mantel to release the third installment of her Thomas Cromwell trilogy. Although naturally subject to change, the title is reputed to be “The Mirror and the Light.”
Next week, we will consider “Poldark,” which was one of the first series I remember seeing on Masterpiece Theatre in the 1970s. If this new adaptation is only as good as the old one, we are in for a treat.
Board Meeting
The Board of Trustees of the Unicoi County Public Library will meet in the library lobby at 6 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 15. The public is welcome to attend. Please call the library at 743-6533 if you need special accommodations.
Library Foundation Annual Meeting
The Unicoi County Public Library Foundation will meet at 2 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 15. All members are encouraged to attend, along with anyone who is interested in supporting the library.