Anne of Cleves: Henry VIII’s Unwanted Wife by Sarah-Beth Watkins


Sarah-Beth Watkins explores the life of Anne of Cleves, fourth wife of King Henry VIII, in her upcoming book Anne of Cleves: Henry VIII’s Unwanted Wife.

Anyone who has been following my blog for a while is well aware of the fact that I’m utterly fascinated with Tudor history, and the many wives of Henry VIII, in particular. It’s no surprise I was immediately intrigued by this biography of Anne of Cleves.

Henry’s fourth bride proved to be an unsavory choice for King. Having agreed to marry Anne sight unseen, their first meeting left him displeased with her, and he attempted to put a halt to the wedding, only to proceed as planned when he realized there was no way out of the agreement. Six months later, she agreed to having marriage to be annulled, and was thereafter treated as the King’s “sister” who showed her great generosity in her settlement, which included several properties. As a result, Anne was the richest woman in England for a time. Anne outlived Henry and all his other wives, and saw both Edward VI and Mary I ascend to the throne. Anne died in 1557, having never returned home after coming to England to be Henry’s wife.

This was a quick read for me—I managed to start and finish reading it before I bothered to update my reading status on Goodreads. The only other book I recall reading about Anne of Cleves was a novel, so I looked forward to reading a strictly biographical account. Partial text of various letters and documents are included throughout, along with three appendices, which includes the marriage treaty for Henry and Anne, and Anne’s will.

Anne of Cleves: Henry VIII’s Unwanted Wife didn’t feel quite as in-depth as I’d hoped it would be, but it was an interesting read, nonetheless, and I’m glad I read it.

I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of Chronos Books via Netgalley.

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Author: Sarah-Beth Watkins
Title: Anne of Cleves: Henry VIII’s Unwanted Wife
Genre: History, Biography
Publication Date: October 26, 2018 by Chronos Books
Rating: 3 stars

About the Book

Anne of Cleves left her homeland in 1539 to marry the king of England. She was never brought up to be a queen yet out of many possible choices, she was the bride Henry VIII chose as his fourth wife. Yet from their first meeting the king decided he liked her not and sought an immediate divorce. After just six months their marriage was annulled, leaving Anne one of the wealthiest women in England. This is the story of Anne’s marriage to Henry, how the daughter of Cleves survived him and her life afterwards.

About the Author

SARAH-BETH WATKINS has been a freelance writer for over 20 years, writing for magazines and websites on a wide range of topics. She has written over 300 articles for the web. Her most recent work includes writing articles for Wikio Experts, Vista magazine and New Consciousness Review.

Sarah-Beth also tutors creative writing and journalism courses for various colleges and community centres as well as working as a copyeditor and proofreader for JHP and Xchyler Publishing.

She is the author of Telling Life’s Tales, The Writer’s Internet, The Lifestyle Writer and Life Coaching for Writers, available through Compass Books.

Growing up in Richmond, Surrey, Sarah-Beth began soaking up history from an early age. Her history books are Ireland’s Suffragettes (The History Press), Lady Katherine Knollys: The Unacknowledged Daughter of King Henry VIII (Chronos) and The Tudor Brandons (Chronos).

She lives in County Wexford, Ireland.