The story of Anne of Cleve King Henry VIII’s fourth wife is familiar to almost every history enthusiast. He saw her portrait and wanted to marry a charming German princess but when she arrived, she wasn’t as pretty as he imagined. That’s King Henry’s version but was it the truth? Obviously, there is more to the story…
In this novel, Alison Weir gives Anne a chance to tell her version, her side of the well-known story. The book begins with Anne growing up in Kleve, raised as a representative German princess. Her father and later her brother were strict and didn’t think Anne or any woman in the country need any education. She never learned languages or arts as young ladies in the courts of France or England. She lived a modest and quiet life, rarely leaving the castle. Despite that Anne had a strong personality and a passionate heart. She wished to fall in love to have a loving husband and children. However, faith led her to a completely different path. After the tragic death of his beloved wife Jane, King Henry desperately needed a new one. He saw a beautiful German princess on a portrait and ordered to bring her to England. Upon arrival, terrified and confused Anne who was unaccustomed with English culture and didn’t speak any English, didn’t impress the King. Soon he was looking for ways to escape the unwanted marriage. Anne was frightened of the outcome due to King’s bad reputation; he already got rid of two of his wives.
I enjoyed this book a lot. The first part when Anne was in Germany felt like Brother Grimm’s fairytale; an old castle in a faraway land and a princess locked up waiting for her prince charming. I also liked Anne as the main character, she was interesting to follow around. You might think at first her as a String-puppet but she is not as week as she seems. I like how the author mixes accurate historical details with fiction. It all comes together into an amazing and captivating story. I adore this series and cannot wait for the next book; Katheryn Howard: The Scandalous Queen. Two more Queens to go!