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My Lady of Cleves: A Novel of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves
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My Lady of Cleves: A Novel of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,597 ratings  ·  79 reviews
My Lady of Cleves reveals the mesmerizing story of Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII's fourth wife, one of the rare women who matched wits successfully with the fiery king and lived to tell the tale.
ebook, 352 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published 1946)
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Serra Swift
Apr 08, 2010 Serra Swift rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of "The Tudors," anyone who is interested in Henry VIII and his court
Recommended to Serra by: my mom
I initially passed this book up at the bookstore, because the first two or three chapters were clunky and slow. My mom ended up buying it later, and after reading it passed it on to me as a "must read." I must say that after finishing the book, I agree.

The book was written in 1946, so the writing style is a little archaic (full of adverbs and vocabulary that has been all but dropped by our generation), but the story is compelling and thoughtful. Anne of Cleves is my favorite of the Henry wives,
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Maggie
This is my second Margaret Campbell Barnes novel, i love her style of writing, although written years ago they are not dated, just well written.

Poor Anne came to England not knowing anyone or speaking the language, is called a Flanders mare and made a joke of for her dress sense, but in the end she manages become one of the most likeable of all Henry's wives. People gradually see that there is more to this woman than first meets the eye, they realise that Anne would have been the prefect wife fo
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Bibliophile
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy
My Lady of Cleves covers the life of Anne of Cleves from right before her marriage to Henry VIII until his death in 1547. The story opens with an agitated King Henry VIII, talking with his ministers about his need for a new wife after the death of his third wife, Jane Seymour in childbed. Among the candidates are the Duchess of Milan and the Cleves Princesses. The Duchess of Milan has already replied with “Only if I had two heads”! Smart girl!

Hans Holbein is sent to Cleves to paint both Anne and
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Kim
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sensitivemuse
I really liked how Anne of Cleves was portrayed in this book! and it proved to be a very enjoyable read. I had to get used to the writing style though, and it took a little longer to get into the book. It proved to be a very interesting read, and I really did like this book.

It’s hard not to sympathize with Anne. Practically alone in a country where English is a foreign language, and with different customs and clothing to get used to, I felt really sorry for her in the beginning of the book. Whe
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Penny
This is a great book if you want to know more about the least known of Henry's wives. It spins Anne's story from her home in Cleves to the court in England where most of Henry's waiting ladies want her to fail even before she arrives.

The awful ordeal of being married off to someone she had never met who had already disposed of 2 wives, must have been very hard on a young woman. Anne had never travelled and could speak very little English. The infamous miniature by Holbein that leads to Henry agr
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Amy
Anne of Cleves has always fascinated me. Was she really a fat and uncouth Flander's Mare. Or was she an intelligent & independent woman who set her own path?

This book definitely takes the latter viewpoint of the 4th wife. Whether or not this is an accurate historical representation is open to debate, but the character in the book is one that is lovable.

The one qualm I had with this book is Henry. The author tries to make him likeable... but, well, I kinda have taken to a great dislike of Hen
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Rosemarie Short
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 compar
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Bethany
I am in love with Margaret Campbell Barnes. Her writing style is phenominal and precise. I love that she wrote an entire book centered around the least known wife of Henry VIII. Anne of Cleves was an amazing woman with many strengths. After reading this book, I feel as though Ms. Barnes captured her in a new light that needs to be shed upon her.
Karen
a. beautiful novel of Anne of Cleaves. Anne of Cleaves is


a
Margaret Campbell Barnes evokes beautifully the life of Ann of Cleaves. The novel begins just before Ann leaves her native Germany and ends with the death of Henry viii. Ann is portrayed as a genuinely nice person, not as sexy as Anne Boleyn or Catherine Howard. This book genuinely illustrates Ann as a genuine caring person. I would have loved for the novel to continue after Henry's death and show what happened to Ann afterwards as she wa
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Kaye
Written in the 1940s and re-released in the 2000s, this is one of the few novelizations of my favorite of the Tudor wives, Anne of Cleves--- the one whom Henry VIII married based on a 2-inch miniature painting and then spent their brief marriage trying to figure out how to put her aside, eventually annulling the marriage based on the (false) basis of Anne's being pre-contracted.

While the style of writing does age the book, that wasn't the biggest reason I couldn't give it five stars. It paints a
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Allison
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Shannon
Finally a novel that illuminates the life of a much maligned and misrepresented Queen, more widely known as Anne of Cleaves or the “Flanders Mare”. I remember as a child wondering at this nickname as it seemed so undeserved but ultimately Anne accomplished the near impossible – she rid herself of a ruthless husband and kept her head. Not only that but she gained the near impossible in Tudor England and became an independent woman of means, the King’s most beloved sister.

The image of Anne that ha
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Carolina
"I do very well as I am" (304) Her final answer to Sir Anthony Browne. Her final line in the book and the last sentence in this great novel.
I had only read one fiction of Anne of Cleves and that had been by Philipa Greggory in the "Boleyn Inheritance". I found it really good but I gave it four stars as it had three protagonists, so the novel was not just about Anne, which I would have liked her to be, as she wrote her really well.
What Margaret Campbell Barnes did (and this is novel is my introdu
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Marla
I was put off by the writing style. Specifically, there were several instances where I would read a sentence three or four times and wonder what the author was saying or what point was being made. This was not due to the words used as much as word placement. Oftentimes I had to conclude whatever point was being made could not be all that important or the writing would have been clearer. That particular hurdle aside, I enjoyed the development of characters and the stories that were woven in to wh ...more
Becky
Barnes, Margaret Campbell. 1946. (Reprinted in 2008) My Lady of Cleves.

My Lady of Cleves is a "novel of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves." One of the luckier wives if you ask my opinion. What can I say? If you're interested in Henry VIII and his wives and his children and the politics of the day, then this may be of interest to you. It's a straightforward account told mainly from Anne's perspective with hints of Henry's as well. I honestly don't know how much is fact and how much is fiction. It por
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Linda
As I began to read this novel about Anne of Cleves, the fourth wife of Henry VIII, I wasn't sure I'd like it, as the "fictional" part took quite a stretch from what I've read in various biographies on Henry VIII. But I reminded myself, that heck, The Tudors mini-series used many inconsistencies with the truth, and I loved it anyhow, so I continued on with the novel. I'm glad I did. The best compliment I can give an author is to read a line they wrote, sigh and wish I had written it. There were s ...more
Charlotte
Mar 24, 2009 Charlotte rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Charlotte by: Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
Shelves: historical-novel
I might really give this 2.5 stars. The writing style and character development was too heavy-handed for me. I was rolling my eyes at the author's favorable portrayal of everyone and trying to make these likable figures match with their historical counterparts. Anne of Cleves was practically a saint and Katherine Howard was guilty of nothing but innocence and youth. And the author clearly seemed to dislike Elizabeth I's determination and ambition.

But as the story went on (and diverged from histo
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Xenia
I suggest checking this book out from a library, don't spend money on it. If you have read previous books on Henry VIII's unfortunate wives you will find nothing new in this book. The stories of Anne through Catherine Howard are told with a few scraps of Jane Rochford thrown in, usually combined with "maybe, probably and might have's". The true story of Lady Rochford is that there isn't one.
What little insight is provided deals with Jane's younger days prior to the Boleyn's. Also there seems to
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Fortunata Paliano
A great historical novel based on facts, well researched and beautifully written, warm and entertaining! "..most of the remarks made about Anne of Cleves by characters in this book were in fact made by people who knew and saw her..[...] Anne's letters - to the King, to Mary Tudor and to her brother William-are to be found among State Papers,...[...] Her Will -surely one of the most human and endearing legal documents - makes delightful reading. [...] " (Author's preface). I highly recommend it i ...more
Paula Mccallum


This is a different take on Henry & Ann's relationship from several others I had read. Previous accounts suggested he had a physical revulsion to her & that she had a foul odor. This suggests that the artist, Holbein, was rather smitten with her & painted her miniature more attractive than the actual subject. Based on Holbein's miniatures, Henry chose Ann over her sister. He saw her for the first time when she was napping & not looking her best & Henry was immediately turned
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Ellen
This is one of the books I read as a young teen that set me on the road to life-long reading. I'd forgotten about it until I saw it mentioned on a Goodreads review.

I came across this book on one of my first forays into the "adult" (i.e. not children's) section of the public library. I promptly went on to read all the books by Margaret Campbell Barnes available in the library.
Tammy
Jun 06, 2014 Tammy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction
3 1/2 stars
A smooth read of a dramatic time period. You will find yourself getting to know and like Anne of Cleves. This is during the time period of Henry VIII, I wish it would have continued to the end of her life. I will reread.
Debby Smith
The book was rather slow-going. You could imagine the stately tempo of the court. I easily imagined myself in that royal setting.
Kim
I really enjoyed the firsthand account of one of Henry VII's most overlooked wives. The character development was interesting, and i thought it a fascinating look at navigating the Tudor Court after Anne Boleyn.
Katie
This book was very informing of the almost unthought of fourth wife of Henry VIII, Anne of Cleves. The author scripted together a realistic story that told of Anne's awkward arrival and her short, disastrous marriage the of King of England. The reader roots and cries for this silent heroine who lived though one of the most dangerous times in history--the Tudor period--where back-door deals, illicit affairs, and death were around every corner. A must read for Tudor period fans who want to learn m ...more
Cynthia Hill
I have to admit, when I added this to my "to read" list, I thought it was a recent book, cashing in on the Tudor trend. However, when I picked it up from the library, it was an estate copy from 1946. I hesitated, thinking that perhaps it would be dated, but in the end it was a really good read. It had to have been tough writing a book about, arguably, the least known of Henry's wives, but Margaret Campbell Barnes creates a very sympathetic, warm character. The (emotional) affair with Hans Holbei ...more
Cindy S
Henry the XIII's fourth wife is depicted in great detail in a fascinating, well written book by Margaret Barnes. Anne leaps to life off the pages and enters your heart. Ironically, if Henry had given her a second chance (first impressions were quite unfavorable!) the history of England could have been rewritten. The author has a real talent in bringing to live historical figures, fleshing out what facts are known and creating a character that you could sit down with and share a pot of tea.
Sue
Since I really love reading about the Tudor period, I decided to read a book about each of Henry's wives. This book, about wife number 4 was one of my favorites. It was well written and gave a good description of what Anne must have felt like when she, a princess in her own right, was rejected by the king because he did not find her desirable. However, by using her wit, she was able to keep her head and eventually earn Henry's admiration and affection, if not his love.
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271832
Margaret Campbell Barnes was born in 1891 and died in 1962. She was the youngest of ten children born in the Sussex country side. By all accounts she lived a happy childhood and was eventually educated at small private schools in Paris and London.

The majority of her books were written between the 1940's and 1960's.

She married Peter Barnes in 1917, a furniture salesman, and the couple had two sons,
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More about Margaret Campbell Barnes...
Brief Gaudy Hour: A Novel of Anne Boleyn The Tudor Rose King's Fool: A Notorious King, His Six Wives, and the One Man Who Knew All Their Secrets Within the Hollow Crown: A Reluctant King, a Desperate Nation, and the Most Misunderstood Reign in History The Passionate Brood

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