Bibles play a significant role in Wolf Hall. We know Thomas Cromwell kept an illegal Bible, printed in English, in his home. He meets with a group of early Protestants who are smuggling religious writing into England -- and several of those men are burned at the stake for it. Owning a Bible in Tudor England was no small thing. But owning a small Bible?
We like knowing the beginnings of things -- this sort of purity of source. Many Evangelical Christians hold this hope in their heart that, if one were to drill far enough down/back into history, you'd find the purist version of Christianity that ever existed, before it was corrupted by politics and propositions, changed by shifting alliances and points of view. It doesn't work that way, though. There has never been an ur-version of Christianity at all. There have been Christianities. But can it work with a portrait? Can we pinpoint when a portrait was painted, and can we then know when someone's obsession started, the purist form of that possession?