My Adventures with the Duchess of Cleves!

by Heather R. Darsie

Dear Reader, thank you so much for your support and interest during my journey to write a biography about Anna of Cleves from the German perspective. My travels took me all over Europe and parts of the US. Below are pictures of me doing Anna-related things, which I would like to share with you.



Here I am at the Louvre, Paris, in October 2016 with Hans Holbein the Younger’s portrait of Anna of Cleves. Our train to Paris was a couple hours behind schedule, leaving a very tight window to see the portrait of Anna before a  visit to Versailles. I asked the docent in my very best French to please take a picture of me, and that I was writing a book about Anna. The docent was thoroughly unimpressed, but was kind enough to take the picture for me. A couple days before, I viewed Anna’s tomb in Westminster.



Outside the Louvre in October 2016 before scurrying off to Versailles. A landscape doesn’t get much more Parisian than this!

St John's.jpeg

While attending the Renaissance College: Corpus Christi College Oxford in Context, c. 1450 — c. 1600 conference in September 2017, I had the honor of viewing St John’s College, Oxford’s portrait of Anna of Cleves. This was my favorite portrait of her until I was able to hunt down the Rosenbach portrait.


Rosenbach 1.JPG

Here I am in February 2018 with the Rosenbach portrait of Anna of Cleves. I promised the PhD who helped at the Rosenbach that she would not have to be in any pictures if she didn’t want, hence her holding up the portrait of Anna. I was ecstatic to sort out where this portrait had been lurking the last almost 90 years, and even more delighted to learn that it was in my own backyard! I loved visiting Philadelphia, too.



I can be terribly American, at times! Here I am with the famous Rocky statue outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The victory stance seemed appropriate, given my visit to the Rosenbach the day before.


Schloss Burg Hall.jpg

Here I am, sitting in a window seat of Schloss Burg in the Great Hall back in September 2018. Anna and her family spent time at this castle. I liked to think that maybe Anna herself sat here!



My final viewing was of Hans Holbein the Younger’s miniature of Anna, held by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. I went there in September 2018.

Thank you again for your interest and support!

Anna, Duchess of Cleves: The King’s ‘Beloved Sister’ by Heather R. Darsie is released 15 April in the UK and 1 July in the US. If you live in the US and cannot wait until July, you can order a hardcover from the UK Amazon. The book can be purchased here:

UK Hardcover:

UK Kindle:

US Hardcover:

US Kindle:



12 thoughts on “My Adventures with the Duchess of Cleves!

  1. I have enjoyed reading your biography and it is evident you have researched new evidence on Anne of Cleves but I am very disappointed there is a lack of proper reference notes and even in the text in several instances the actual reference isn’t even named when it is referred to. I am sorry but I find that unprofessional for an academic and it makes it hard to follow up on sources.


    1. Yes, I certainly understand your position. That is the danger of publishing with a non-academic publisher. If you have any specific questions, I am certainly happy to answer them and provide sources, as I retained my version of the manuscript which has all the requisite footnotes, source information, etc. Non-academic publishers sometimes prefer to keep the word count in the body of the text instead of bogging down a manuscript with footnotes and end notes, which may be off-putting to a non-academic reader.


      1. Thank you for taking the time to respond. I am aware of how much research you have put into this enjoyable biography, especially from other articles I have read which was why I was looking forward to this book. The bibliography is indeed impressive as is the source list and I am following up on some of the texts mentioned. Thanks, if I get stuck for the source I will take up your kind offer to help.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I look forward to your next book, Heather. As to the restriction for the number of footnotes/endnotes your publisher allows, if anyone wants to follow your thoughts, perhaps they should consider consulting the sources listed in your bibliography. These are easy to follow even for the non-academic reader. Your depth of research is apparent and the bibliography is impressive.


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