Spotlight: ANNA OF KLEVE by Alison Weir


ANNA OF KLEVE at Penguin Random House

I think this is the last summer book to tell you about.  I don’t have time to write a full review and I didn’t make that commitment, but I wanted you to know about it.  I’m a history buff and Tudor England is one of my favorites.  I’m still not entirely sure why, but it’s a similar vibe to Ancient Egypt for me.  Maybe it’s because the real people’s lives from those eras are so vividly recorded.  Anyway, Anne of Cleves is my favorite Tudor queen because she had the presence of mind to survive Henry VIII.220px-Anne_of_Cleves,_by_Hans_Holbein_the_Younger


There’s a saying, ‘Well-behaved women seldom make history.”


To which I say, “So the heck what?”


Anne Boleyn, for example, is a fascinating and pivotal Tudor Queen.


She also didn’t get to live long enough to watch her precious baby girl grow up.  Do you really think, as she climbed the scaffold, she thought, “Dang, I’m gonna go down in history as freakin’ awesome!”  No.  As a mother, I believe her thoughts were completely on her baby and how she’d never see her again that side of heaven.  So sad.


Anne of Cleves figured out how to achieve her goals within the context of her society and historical time period.  Not only did she survive Henry VIII, she also survived the reign of Queen Mary I, her stepdaughter whom history would nickname ‘Bloody Mary.’


Maybe Anne of Cleve’s other stepdaughter, Queen Elizabeth I learned the dangers of marriage from her, and also from growing up without her mom.  She was there when Catherine Howard lost her head too, you know.  Imagine what she thought when her other stepmother, Katherine Parr, finally married the man she loved, only to die after giving birth and knowing he cheated or at least tried to cheat on her.  Dang, Elizabeth was smart.  Few people are able to think outside the box of their own culture, to go beyond what people say and, instead, observe what they do and the consequences thereof.

gilt-pb-225Check out my review of GILT by Katherine Longshore for my favorite Historical Fiction about that ill-fated Tudor Queen.  It’s the perfect blend of believable teenager with the horrific events of the time.


Anyway, Alison Weir really knocked it out of the park with ANNA OF KLEVE The Princess in the Portrait.  It’s a rare book which I cannot speed-read.  This one forced me to take my time and I’m so glad I did.  Very living and breathing, a fantastic portrayal of my favorite Tudor Queen.


Alison has authored many books and I’m glad I still have a few of them to read!  The one on Jane Seymour is next on my crowded list.  These kinds of books are self-indulgent for me though.  Alison doesn’t need my help as a book reviewer, so it’s extremely unlikely I’d ever get sent an ARC.  That’s okay.  I’ll read them anyway. 51i4BtwkzML._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_


Alison’s Main Site

Oh, my gosh, isn’t the cover art for Alison’s books absolutely gorgeous? Wow.

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