Henry VIII Fiction
Hanna, you mentioned "Wolf Hall," apparently an historical novel about the court of Henry VIII featured Thomas Cromwell in a sympathetic light. Have you, or any one else here, ever read "The Fifth Queen"? It's an early trilogy by Ford Madox Ford, mostly about Kathryn Howard, but also featuring a great portrayal of Cromwell in his traditional role as villain. Not quite War & Peace or Il Gatopardo, but definitely worth reading.
Contrary to what Ann says there, I think books are excellent gifts if they're well thought-out. One of the most enjoyable presents I ever got was a short book by Ronald Knox called "Let Dons Delight." It was part of an exchange where the rule was, each person gave the other an example of a "perfect" or "flawless" book, short enough the other would actually read it.