My Lady of Cleves: A Novel of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Absorbing Story of Henry VIII's Fourth Queen, Her Secret Love, Her Power-Hungry Husband, and the Country That Ruled Them All

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

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...

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

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Overview

The Absorbing Story of Henry VIII's Fourth Queen, Her Secret Love, Her Power-Hungry Husband, and the Country That Ruled Them All

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

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.

Written by world-renowned historical novelist Margaret Campbell Barnes, My Lady of Cleves gives readers an intimate portrait of the warm, unpretentious princess who never expected to become Queen of England. Knowing the king's ravenous desire for a son, and aware of the disastrous consequences of not bearing an heir, Anne of Cleves bravely took on the duty of weathering the Tudor King's temper, whims, arrogance, and irresponsible passions - and won the hearts of his subjects in the process.

A treat for readers of Tudor fiction and those fascinated by the complex relationships of Henry VIII and his wives, My Lady of Cleves leads readers into a world of high drama and courtly elegance.

"Turns a brilliant light on one of the lustiest and one of the most dramatic periods of English history."
- PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The novel was an enjoyable excursion in the "might have happeneds" of history" - A Garden Carried in the Pocket

" My Lady of Cleves stands the test of time, introducing Henry VIII's enigmatic fourth wife to a new generation of readers." - Eclectic Closet

" Originally published in 1946, My Lady of Cleves stands the test of time, introducing Henry VIII's enigmatic fourth wife to a new generation of readers." - Armchair Interviews

"All-in-all, I absolutely loved the book. Margaret Campbell Barnes made me care about the people I was reading about and left me wanting more of their story. I highly recommend the book to anyone who likes historical fiction." - Alabama Book Worm

"In My Lady of Cleves, Margaret Campbell Barnes traces the life of Anne from the painting of her portrait to Henry VIII's death. Barnes portrays a warm, unpretentious princess who never expected to become a queen." - Hollywood Today

"I really liked My Lady of Cleves; it was well-written, fast-paced and very enjoyable. I would recommend it to any fans of historical fiction; it is well worth reading this novel on an underappreciated queen. " - S. Krishna's Books

"I know that I savored every minute of reading this book, and I truly loved the development of Anne's character throughout." - At Home With Books

"This novel is rich in detail and flows beautifully, letting readers escape into Anne's court and country life. It is a must read for those who love exploring the dynamic relationships of Henry VIII and his wives. " - Historical Novels Review

"A treat for readers of Tudor fiction and those fascinated by the complex relationships of Henry VIII and his wives, My Lady of Cleves leads readers into a world of high drama and courtly elegance." - Book Reading Tales

"This was an exquisitely visual novel." - Linus's Blanket

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402234408
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 102,093
  • File size: 930 KB

Meet 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.
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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter One

HENRY TUDOR STRADDLED THE hearth in the private audience chamber at Greenwich. Sunlight streaming through a richly colored oriel window emphasized the splendor of his huge body and red-gold beard against the wide arch of the stone fireplace behind him. He was in a vile temper. The huddle of statesmen yapping their importunities at him from a respectful distance might have been a pack of half-cowed curs baiting an angry bull. They were trying to persuade him to take a fourth wife. And because for once he was being driven into matrimony by diplomacy and not desire, he scowled at all their suggestions.

"Who are these two princesses of Cleves?" he wanted to know. That didn't sound too hopeful for the latest project of the Protestant Party. But Thomas Cromwell hadn't pushed his way from struggling lawyer to Chancellor of England without daring sometimes to pit his own obstinacy against the King's.

"Their young brother rules over the independent duchies of Cleves, Guelderland, Juliers and Hainault," he reported. "And we are assured that the Dowager Duchess has brought them up in strict Dutch fashion."

Henry thought they sounded deadly, and he was well aware that their late father's Lutheran fervor was of far more value in Cromwell's eyes than the domestic virtues of their mother.

"Those Flemish girls are all alike, dowdy and humor less," he muttered, puffing out his lips. The audience chamber overlooked the gardens and the river, and from where he stood he could hear sudden gusts of laughter from the terrace below. He thought he recognized the voices of two of his late wife's flightiest maids-of-honor.

Only yesterday he had heard his dour Chancellor rating them for playing shuttlecock so near the royal apartments. And because he was having his own knuckles rapped-although much more obsequiously-he snickered sympathetically.

"And if I must marry again," he added, "an English girl would be more amusing." It was growing warm as the morning wore on and a bumble bee beat its body persistently against the lattice. But Cromwell was a born taskmaster. "Your Grace has already-er-tried two," he pointed out, looking down his pugnacious nose.
"Well?" demanded Henry, dangerously.

Naturally, no one present had the temerity to mention that Anne Boleyn had not been a success or to gall his recent bereavement by referring to the fact that Jane Seymour had died in childbirth.

"It is felt that a foreign alliance-like your Majesty's first marriage with Catherine of Aragon-," began the Archbishop of Canterbury, who had obligingly helped to get rid of her. Marillac, the French ambassador, backed him up quickly, seeing an opportunity to do some spade work for his own country. "Your Grace has always found our French women piquantes," he reminded the widowed King, although everybody must have known that Archbishop Cranmer had not meant another Catholic queen. Henry turned to him with relief. Like most bullies, he really preferred the people who stood up to him. He didn't mean to be impatient and irritable so that men jumped or cowered whenever he addressed them. He had always prided himself on being accessible. "Bluff King Hal," peo ple had called him. And secretly he had loved it. Why, not so very long ago he used to sit in this very room-he and Catherine-with Mary, his young sister, and Charles Brandon, his friend-planning pageants and encouraging poets ...

"Your Majesty has but to choose any eligible lady in my country and King Francis will be honored to negotiate with her parents on your behalf," the ambassador was urging, with a wealth of Latin gesture which made the rest of the argumentative assembly look stupid.

"I know, I know, my dear Marillac," said Henry, drag ging himself from his reminiscent mood to their importunities. "And weeks ago I dictated a letter asking that three of the most promising of them might be sent to Calais for me to choose from. But nothing appears to have been done." He slewed his thickening body round toward his unfortunate secretary with a movement that had all the vindictiveness of a snook, and Wriothesley-conscious of his own diligence in the matter-made a protesting gesture with his ugly hands.

"The letter was sent, your Grace. But, I beg you to consider, Sir, your proposal was impossible!"
"Impossible!" Henry Tudor rapped out the word with all the arrogance of an upstart dynasty that has made itself despotic.
"Monsieur Marillac has just received the French King's reply," murmured Cranmer.
"And what does he say?" asked Henry.

Seeing that the prelate had forced his hand and thereby spoiled his bid for another Catholic alliance, Marillac reluctantly drew the letter from his scented dispatch case. After all, he was not Henry's subject and his neck was safe. "He says that it would tax his chivalry too far to ask ladies of noble blood to allow themselves to be trotted out on approval like so many horses at a fair!" he reported verbatim. And many a man present had to hide a grin, envying him his immunity. Henry gulped back a hot retort, reddening and blinking his sandy lashes in the way he did when he knew himself to be in the wrong. There had been a time, before that bitch Nan Boleyn had blunted his susceptibilities about women's feelings, when he would have been the first to agree with Francis. Mary, his favorite sister, had been alive then, keeping him kind. Lord, how he missed her! He sighed, considering how good it was for a man to have a sister-some woman who gave the refining intimacy of her mind in a relationship that had nothing to do with sex. Someone who understood one's foibles and even bullied back sometimes, affectionately. Mary would have said in her gay, irrepressible way, "Don't be a mule, Henry! You know very well those stuffy old statesmen are right, so you might just as well do what they want without arguing." But even if they were right, and he did, it wasn't as simple as all that, he thought ruefully. For, after all, whatever foreign woman they might wish onto him, it was he who would have to live with her.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it!

    I am an avid fan of both fiction and non-fiction involving British history. This was a fascinating and entertaining read about Anne of Cleves. What a strong, smart, kind and down to earth character. So little is mentioned about Henry VIII's fourth wife/'sister' and I was enchanted from the first page to the last!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 28, 2014

    Recommended

    Very nicely researched, offers a different form of the Anne of Cleaves that we've known from television and film.

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  • Posted January 24, 2014

    Recommended for those interested in the life and times of Henry VIII

    Touches of fact and fiction intertwined makes for interesting reading and helps one try to understand the intricacies of the wives of Henry VIII and how he dealt with them, good and bad

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  • Posted January 3, 2014

    long winded and is taking me a while to read

    Have always been interested int the Tudors and Lancaster's and of course how could Lady of Cleves not be included.

    The book is long winded and is taking me a while to read. There are a lot of different things that happened that I had not heard before. So not sure if this is fiction or all the others are. If these times and people interest you then of course give it a try. But otherwise it might be disappointing.

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  • Posted November 27, 2013

    Lovely

    I really loved the author's style. I've read a lot of historical fiction from this period and I really loved to see Ann of Cleves portrayed as an intelligent woman of beauty rather than the way she is usually described. Can't wait to read all of Ms. Campbell Barnes' works.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2013

    Good read

    We'll written. Interesting interpretations of events.

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  • Posted October 1, 2013

    Engaging Hisorical Novell

    This is a enjoyable read for anyone interested in historical novels. This author tells an engaging story of Lady Anne of Cleves and gives the reader a flavor for this period of English history that was wrought with profound changes due to Henry the VIII 's various appetite's .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    love it

    I have to say that this book is very entertaining if you love Henry the vii it gives a good insite into a queen that was never very popular for nothing else except for her "horse looks".

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