The Marrying of Anne of Cleves: Royal Protocol in Early Modern England

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This book is a study of the marrying of Anne of Cleves to King Henry VIII. It contains fascinating material - including "demonic" interference and sexual politics at court - which differs from the usual stereotyped accounts of Anne. It also provides a rich new context of royal courtship rituals, and a startling account of the king's failure to consummate his marriage.

Henry's decision to ally himself with this German noblewoman in 1540 was in part a reaction to the Franco-Imperial treaty mediated by Pope Paul III, who renewed a suspended bull of excommunication against Henry in the hope of isolating England diplomatically. The subsequent marriage procedures, from the advent of negotiations and the portrait of Anne by Hans Holbein the Younger to Henry's Rochester greeting of Anne - in disguise - and the Greenwich nuptials, followed usual royal protocol. However, the king's sexual incapacity, which prevented the consummation of the marriage, culminated in the fall and subsequent execution of Thomas Cromwell and his client Lord Hungerford, who were both tarred with the brush of sexual heresy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is neither a biography of Anne nor of Henry; it is an account of his quest for a fourth wife that culminated in his failed marriage to her. It examines his marrying behavior and strategies for the purpose of relating them to the expected royal protocol and practices of early modern England. Material from the courtship and marriages of other monarchs, often from foreign dynasties, will provide a contextual framework for the study. Attempts will be made to indicate when wooing and wedding practices emerged and whether and how by the end of the seventeenth century they had been altered. This does not pretend to be a comprehensive study of early modern courtship; only enough evidence, some of it substantial, will be offered to provide a window into marrying customs and thereby to provide a fuller understanding of the reasons for the making and breaking of Henry's fourth marriage." from the Introduction

"...Warnicke has read across an impressive breadth of sources...ab extraordinarily potent study of the realities of dynastic political imperatives in an age of personal monarchy..." H-Net Reviews

"...this valuable study is well documented and highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty interested in Tudor-Stuart and early modern history." Choice

"...interested in sixteenth-century diplomacy, court politics, and elite marriages will enjoy this richly detailed and beautifully illustrated book." Religious Studies Review

"Warnicke's investigation into negotiations surrounding the marrying and divorcing of Anne of Cleves makes for a fascinating read" Sixteenth Century Jrnl

"Warnicke's book is extremely helpful in understanding the meanings methods, and rituals of diplomacy in Tudor England and the ways that royal marriages were arranged and conducted. This study affords its readers more insight into Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell, and presents Anne of Cleves as a far more nuanced character than earlier studies of Henry's six wives. With both clear and sophisticated analysis she weaves together political history with an understanding of the implications of gender and beliefs about sexuality....first-rate...should gain a wide readership." Renaissance Quarterly

"thought-provoking study" Albion

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521179690
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/4/2010
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 376
  • Sales rank: 1,383,535
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

List of plates viii
List of figures x
Acknowledgments xi
Map: Cleves territories xv
1 Introduction 1
2 English Negotiators 12
3 Candidate Pool 36
4 Cleves Selection 63
5 Traveling Bride 94
6 Royal Greeter 127
7 Queen Consort 155
8 King's Scapegoat 187
9 Henry's Sister 229
10 Conclusion 263
Notes 269
Index 326
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