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Anne of Cleves: Henry VIII's Discarded Bride Hardcover – February 28, 2010

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About the Author

Elizabeth Norton gained her first degree from the Universiy of Cambridge, and her Masters from the University of Oxford. Her other books include Anne Boleyn: Henry VIII's Obsession, Jane Seymour: Henry VIII's True Love (both published by Amberley Publishing) and She Wolves: The Notorious Queens of England. She lives in Kingston Upon Thames.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley (February 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848683294
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848683297
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,229,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By cyberpiglet on August 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
It's a shame that this book seems to have gone out of print so quickly. I bought it mainly for the photo section. (The photos in Norton's Jane Seymour were by far the best part of the book). On that count Anne of Cleves: Henry VIII's Discarded Bride did not disappoint. Numerous photos give a glance into Anne and her world. Having found the book on Jane Seymour to be a disappointment, I wasn't expecting much here, but I was pleasantly suprised. Although this is in no way the serious biography that Anne of Cleves deserves, it was a quick and pleasant read, and Ms. Norton delved into Anne's German roots more than I would have expected. A fair amount of attention is also given to Anne's life and financial situation following her divorce. Ms. Norton largely restrains herself from supplying her subject with thoughts and emotions that she has no way of knowing. Perhaps this is because she finds the German Anne more of a puzzle than she did Anne Boleyn or Jane Seymour, but it serves her subject well. Although I'm still waiting for that serious biography of Anne, this book offered a brief and enjoyable glance into the life of Henry's most elusive queen.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Loves the View VINE VOICE on February 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Norton is profiling Henry XIII's wives. This volume follows Norton's book on Jane Seymour. The Jane book was wanting, perhaps due to her short life and time of fame. This new book is a very good account of Anne and how she came to marry Henry, how he came to divorce her and her life beyond his.

The author is sympathetic to her subject. Anne comes to England speaking German. She has had little formal education and very little worldly experience. She is a bridal candidate somewhat by default. Her marriage deteriorated quickly. She does not understand why and is humiliated by it. Anne tries to be the pleasing model wife, but Henry's lack of attraction to her is deep. As it becomes a legal issue, Norton describes what little room she had to maneuver.

Norton feels Anne is the most fortunate of all Henry's wives. She survives him, and his gratitude for her not contesting his divorce made her very wealthy... at least for a time.

The author has books coming out soon on Anne Boleyn and Catherine Parr.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JG Bronson on October 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Little is known by most people about Anne of Cleves except that Henry VIII disliked her on sight when she was sent to England to marry him. They divorced without consummating their marriage, but later became friends, and he reportedly consulted her frequently. This book, an impressive scholarship effort, traces her life and speculates on exactly what it was Henry found repellant, as she is not hideously unattractive. One thing I found irritating was the inclusion of a number of contemporary quotations in the spelling of the time, often making them difficult to read. But the book, virtually the only one about Anne, is recommended to those interested in the smaller wrinkles of the Tudor dynasty.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sylwia S. Zupanec on February 10, 2014
Format: Paperback
Elizabeth Norton's biography of Anne of Cleves was very enjoyable and enlightening. Author managed to show Anne in a different light; intelligent, good looking (forget about the "Flanders' Mare' myth) and wise; a woman who outlived the King and all of his other spouses. This book really brought Anne of Cleves to life and showed her in sympathetic light.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By buyer's opinion on July 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read several books about Anne of Cleves and this one isn't a favorite. It doesn't discuss the living conditions she had as a child or the difficult relationship she had with her brother. Nothing particularly interesting about this book especially if you already have some knowledge about her. It would be a good first book for a reader interested in knowing about her because it covers the basic situation. It lacks any depth regarding her relationship with Henry or even with Princesses Mary or Elizabeth as well. Other books that include Holbein (the painter who did her portrait for Henry) who saw the beauty in her gentle demeanor are much better. Nothing is discussed about Cromwell's ambition to get Henry to join with Protestant Flanders not only for defence against Catholic Spain and France but also to improve merchant trade. A good start though in knowing Anne of Cleves... the smart wife who kept her head and made a profit to boot!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gotta Tellya on April 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Of all of Henry VIII's wives, Anne of Cleves has always intrigued me the most. Since her marriage to Henry was short and she did not suffer an early, dramatic death, Anne sometimes is neglected when the history of Henry's reign is discussed. She was the only bride that Henry did not know before marriage, the only one chosen and summoned in the traditional way, through negotiations meant to create allegiance between England and another country. (Katherine of Aragon was obtained as a bride in this manner, but for Henry's older brother, Arthur. Arthur died, and Henry did not object to betrothal to Katherine, whom he knew and found attractive.). Anne's fate was determined by her brother's decision as head of a noble family. She was sent to marry an English king already infamous for discarding unwanted wives. Surely she must have feared what her own fate might be as Henry's bride. Since he did not find her attractive, Henry did choose to end their marriage. But Anne did not react with the stubborn pride that previous wives had demonstrated. Anne accepted Henry's offer of friendship and financial support. Anne of Cleves not only saved her own life, she thrived. The author of this version makes a point that Anne would have been better off if she had never married Henry, since she was not so well sustained during her later years, after Henry's death. I have never read this point of view and am not certain that I can agree. It is quite possible that Anne would not have enjoyed a better fate in Germany or wherever else her brother might have agreed to send her as a bride. Perhaps by accepting Henry's dissolution of their marriage without frantic resistance, Anne found the key to some degree of independence, more than she would have known anywhere else.
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