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My lady of Cleves Paperback – 1 Jan 1976

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Jan 1976
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Product details

  • Paperback: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (1976)
  • ISBN-10: 0722122071
  • ISBN-13: 978-0722122075
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 655,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

At long last Anne of Cleves gets her day as a noble and highminded heroine in the lists of historical fiction! --Chicago Tribune

Turns a brilliant light on one of the lustiest and one of the most dramatic periods of English history. --Philadelphia Inquirer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

The late Margaret Campbell Barnes grew up in London. Her historical novels include Brief Gaudy Hour, With All My Heart, Isabel the Fair, and The King's Bed. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read this book many years ago, was nice to refresh my memory of a queen who tends to be skipped over when reading anything about Henry VIII and his wives. Personally I reckon she was the cleverest of them all.
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A very interesting book. Well researched. Made Anne of Cleves really likeable.
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Like all her books, readable.
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By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Mar. 2005
Format: Hardcover
After I read this author's terrific book on Anne Boleyn, "Brief Gaudy Hour", I knew that I would read more by this excellent author. I was delighted to discover that she had also written a book about another woman who had married King Henry VIII, Anne of Cleves, wife number four. I was fortunate enough to have been able to find a copy of this long out of print book, and I was not disappointed.
This is a wonderful work of historical fiction of one of the lesser known wives of King Henry VIII, Anne of Cleves, who was a young Flemish princess of the Duchy of Cleves. When Jane Seymour, wife number three, died shortly after giving birth to the future King Edward VI of England, counselors to King Henry VIII urged him to marry again for reasons of state. As this vain monarch was by this time a bit of a hard sell, given the fact that his first three wives had died unhappy deaths and he was no longer young, fit and handsome, pickings were slim. His Lord Chancellor, Thomas Cromwell, urged upon him an alliance of political expediency between Cleves and England, in hopes of buttressing England's new found Protestantism, as Cleves was a Lutheran stronghold.
King Henry VIII provisionally agreed, provided that one of the two princesses of Cleves, Anne or Amelia, was to his liking. So, he commissioned renowned court painter, Hans Holbein, to go to Cleves and paint miniatures of these two princesses of Cleves. When Han Holbein arrived in Cleves, he painted miniature portraits of both Anne and Amelia. While Amelia was the more superficially attractive one, Hans Holbein saw something in Anne that transcended physical beauty, and, being the artist that he was, his vision transposed itself onto the miniature portrait that he painted of Anne, creating a portrait of exquisite sweetness.
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After reading Philippa Gregory's Boleyn inheritance I was eager to know more about Anne of Cleves and I got this book upon searching. I must say it is lovely, it simply is! Anne of Cleves comes off as a kind woman who had Henry given half the chance could have been his perfect wife. The romance between the painter Holbein was a kind touch as it does in actuality make sense, his painting of her is by far one of his best and most powerful pieces. So to see the story behind the painting was a real treat. The twist of Henry and Anne was wonderful I felt really lucky to have read this book, the authors style may seem a little dated but I still really enjoyed this novel and hope that this along with the Boleyn inheritance can renew interest in this lovely and enchanting lady who has been neglected by history and novelists due to her looks.
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Format: Paperback
I like to think that, at this stage, I have built up a fairly strong base knowledge concerning historical fiction. I have read a lot. Nevertheless, as with all reading in this genre I always consult one forum alone after completion of my newest find; my Mom. She's read ten times more than I have and there's not a historical fiction novel I can name she hasn't partaken in at one point or another. And she very much helped me to clarify my thoughts on this book.

It's dated. Badly.

I'll leave comparisons to the end because it's unfair to immediately throw in other author's names. But suffice to say I found a lot of problems here. If it were not a novel about the relatively unwritten about Anne of Cleves it would have been two stars. However I enjoyed the chance to finally read from the perspective of the jilted Flemish Princess. She's a character I've been interested in for some time, always searching for small details about her. Not least because her marriage was the ultimate downfall of my favourite historical personage - Thomas Cromwell.

Campbell Barnes does a fair job of attempting to capture the confusion and fear running like a vein through Anne's marriage. However her portrayal of Anne, I think, is overly flattering. As is her depiction of a whole host of characters. In contrast to that her thoughts on characters such as Cromwell and Wriothsley were wholly negative. Therefore there is very little moral grey to her characterisation, which I think is so important in a novel about the Tudor court. Everyone played along a blurred line there, no one announced their loyalty to anyone but the King. Yet the moral compass of characters here is more fitting for a fairytale than an attempt at reliving reality.
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Format: Paperback
After I read this author's terrific book on Anne Boleyn, "Brief Gaudy Hour", I knew that I would read more by this excellent author. I was delighted to discover that she had also written a book about another woman who had married King Henry VIII, Anne of Cleves, wife number four. I was fortunate enough to have been able to find a copy of this long out of print book, and I was not disappointed.

This is a wonderful work of historical fiction of one of the lesser known wives of King Henry VIII, Anne of Cleves, who was a young Flemish princess of the Duchy of Cleves. When Jane Seymour, wife number three, died shortly after giving birth to the future King Edward VI of England, counselors to King Henry VIII urged him to marry again for reasons of state. As this vain monarch was by this time a bit of a hard sell, given the fact that his first three wives had died unhappy deaths and he was no longer young, fit and handsome, pickings were slim. His Lord Chancellor, Thomas Cromwell, urged upon him an alliance of political expediency between Cleves and England, in hopes of buttressing England's new found Protestantism, as Cleves was a Lutheran stronghold.

King Henry VIII provisionally agreed, provided that one of the two princesses of Cleves, Anne or Amelia, was to his liking. So, he commissioned renowned court painter, Hans Holbein, to go to Cleves and paint miniatures of these two princesses of Cleves. When Han Holbein arrived in Cleves, he painted miniature portraits of both Anne and Amelia. While Amelia was the more superficially attractive one, Hans Holbein saw something in Anne that transcended physical beauty, and, being the artist that he was, his vision transposed itself onto the miniature portrait that he painted of Anne, creating a portrait of exquisite sweetness.
Read more ›
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