by Heather R. Darsie
A portion of this was originally posted on QueenAnneBoleyn.com
I am honored to announce that I am a guest on Sunday, 3 March 2019 at the semi-annual Tudor Summit. If you would like to learn more about me and my look into Anna’s life, please stop by the Tudor Summit, March 2019. Interviews are taking place all weekend, so do check out the site beforehand so you can tune in for your favorite authors and historians!
After receiving a lot of buzz about the cover of my biography, Anna, Duchess of Cleves: The King’s ‘Beloved Sister’ , about Henry VIII of England’s German fourth wife, I thought I would post something on my site.
Most commonly known to English speakers as Anne of Cleves, Anna’s life has been reviewed mostly from an English perspective using English sources. Anna piqued my interest back in 2012, and I set out to read any book on her that I could find. They all told the same, basic story: Henry needed a bride, Thomas Cromwell arranged a match with Anna, Hans Holbein the Younger’s portrait of her was misleading. Henry wed Anna, found her repulsive, annulled the marriage immediately. Somewhere along the way, Cromwell got dead, mostly for religious reasons. I thought to myself that there had to be more to it than that.
I first questioned how Anna’s name was pronounced. I began studying the German language when I was 15 years old and eventually received my Bachelor of Arts in German Languages and Literature. I knew from my linguistic training that if she indeed spelled her name as, “Anne,” it would be pronounced like “Anna.” With that nagging thought, I was off. I spent the next several years communicating with archives across Europe to find out more about this elusive woman. My travels to learn about her primarily took me to England, France, and of course, Germany. The information I compiled paints a much different picture to the ‘Flanders Mare,’ whose name was Anna.
Anna, Duchess of Cleves: The King’s ‘Beloved Sister’ revisits English sources which are frequently relied on to see if they echoed the German sources. Several elements of Anna’s story are missing a Continental, particularly German, perspective. Other elements are completely different when using German sources. It is my hope that this biography of Anne of Cleves or Anna of Cleves will flesh out her story as a German woman from the Holy Roman Empire and bring a greater understanding of Anna’s life. There are several new images of her and her family contained within the biography too. I do hope you enjoy reading Anna, Duchess of Cleves: The King’s ‘Beloved Sister’ and I look forward to new discussions about her life.
Where can I buy the book?
U.K. release, 15 April 2019 (with shipping to the U.S. if you don’t want to wait for the U.S. release): Amazon UK – Anna, Duchess of Cleves: The King’s ‘Beloved Sister’
U.S. release, 1 July 2019: Amazon US – Anna, Duchess of Cleves: The King’s ‘Beloved Sister’
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