Spotlight: Anne of Cleves

Name: Anne of Cleves

Title/s: Queen of England, Ireland and France / The King’s Beloved Sister

Birth / Death: 22 September 1515 – 16 July 1557

Spouse: Henry VIII 1492-1547

Children: None

Parents: John III Duke of Cleves 1490-1539 & Maria of Julich-Berg 1491-1543

Siblings: Sybille 1512-1554 / William Duke of Julich-Cleves-Berg 1516-1592 / Amelia 1517-1586

Noble Connections: She obtained the former homes of Katherine Parr (Chelsea Old Manor) and Anne Boleyn (Hever Castle)

Events of their Lifetime: Henry VIII’s Great Matter 1527-33, Henry VIII’s marriages to Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Katherine Parr, the execution of Thomas Cromwell and the reigns of Edward VI, Jane Grey and Mary I.

Works of Fiction:
Dixie Atkins ‘The Golden Sorrow’ (2010)
Margaret Campbell Barnes ‘My Lady of Cleves’ (1946)
Mavis Cheek ‘Amenable Women’ (2009)
Philippa Gregory ‘The Boleyn Inheritance’ (2006)
Diane Haeger ‘The Queen’s Mistake’ (2009)
Ford Madox Ford ‘The Fifth Queen’ (1906)

Portrayals on Screen:
Jenny Bos, Henry VIII and his Six Wives, 1972, directed by Waris Hussein
Pia Girard, Henry VIII, 2003, 1 episode
Elvi Hale, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, 1970, 1 episode
Elsa Lanchester, The Private Life of Henry VIII, 1933, directed by Alexander Korda
Catherine Siggins, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, 2001, 1 episode
Joss Stone, The Tudors, 2009-2010, 5 episodes

Further Reading:
Antonia Fraser ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’ (1992)
Julia Hamilton ‘Anne of Cleves’ (1972)
Lawrence-Young ‘Anne of Cleves: Henry’s Luckiest Wife’ (2013)
Karen Lindsey ‘Divorced Beheaded Survived: a Feminist Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry VIII’ (1995)
David Loades ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’ (1996)
Elizabeth Norton ‘Anne of Cleves: Henry VIII’s Discarded Bride’ (2009)
Mary Saaler ‘Anne of Cleves: Fourth Wife of Henry VIII’ (1995)
David Starkey ‘Six Wives: the Queens of Henry VIII’ (2003)
Retha Warnicke ‘The Marrying of Anne of Cleves: Royal Protocol in Tudor England’ (2000)
Alison Weir ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’ (1991)


Anne of Cleves's arms as Queen
Anne of Cleves’s arms as Queen


Anne of Cleves by Hans Holbein 1539
Anne of Cleves by Hans Holbein 1539
Anne of Cleves by Barthel Bruyn 1530s.
Anne of Cleves by Barthel Bruyn 1530s.

Author: Helene Harrison

I have an MA in History, with a thesis entitled 'The Many Faces of Anne Boleyn: Perceptions in History, Literature and Film'. I have an interest in the Tudors and the Wars of the Roses along with my love of reading and literature.

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