The surprising and dramatic life of the least known of King Henry VIII’s wives is illuminated in the fourth volume in the Six Tudor Queens series – for fans of Philippa Gregory, Hilary Mantel, and The Crown.
Newly widowed and the father of an infant son, Henry VIII realizes he must marry again to ensure the royal succession. Forty-six, overweight, and suffering from gout, Henry is soundly rejected by some of Europe’s most eligible princesses. Anna of Kleve, from a small German duchy, is 24 and has a secret she is desperate to keep hidden. Henry requests her portrait from his court painter, who portrays her from the most flattering perspective. Henry is entranced by the lovely image, only to be bitterly surprised when Anna arrives in England and he sees her in the flesh. Some think her attractive, but Henry knows he can never love her. What follows is the fascinating story of an awkward royal union that had somehow to be terminated.
Even as Henry begins to warm to his new wife and share her bed, his attention is captivated by one of her maids of honor. Will he accuse Anna of adultery as he did Queen Anne Boleyn and send her to the scaffold? Or will he divorce her and send her home in disgrace?
Alison Weir takes a fresh and astonishing look at this remarkable royal marriage by describing it from the point of view of Queen Anna, a young woman with hopes and dreams of her own, alone and fearing for her life in a royal court that rejected her almost from the day she set foot on England’s shore.