NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Sunday, July 20, 2008


by Margaret Campbell Barnes

Coming this fall:

The title says it all. My Lady of Cleves: A Novel of Henry VIII and Anne of Cleves is a captivating view of the life of Henry's often overlooked fourth wife from their betrothal to Henry's death. The usual image of the dowdy, overweight, ill-smelling foreigner is replaced with a picture of a charming but plain, domestic-minded girl who couldn't measure up to the bewitching memory of Anne Boleyn or compete with the fresh and exciting Katherine Howard.

I loved that Henry's setting aside of Anne takes place halfway through the story, and we get to see how Anne adjusts to her new situation as his adopted sister. The only other book I've read that gave any kind of detailed account of Anne after her divorce was Philippa Gregory's The Boleyn Inheritance. In that book, Anne was depicted as living her life cautiously, acutely aware that Henry's favor could be revoked at any moment, at any provocation, real or imagined. In My Lady of Cleves, Anne is very confidently going about her life, and Henry begins to see her as a lost opportunity for happiness as his marriage to Katherine Howard deteriorates.

One of the reasons I love to read various fictional accounts of the same historical personage is to witness the diverse interpretations of the person's personality and thoughts behind his or her actions. Barnes' vision of Anne is so different from others I have encountered, it was like reading her story for the first time. This is the Anne of Cleves I choose to live in my memory.


Pabast said...

Because of you I have another book to add to my long list of books that I want to read that relate to the Tudors and to my ever growing list of tbr books.

Thanks, Lezlie

Darlene said...

Lezlie, another one that sounds terrific and will be added to my growing historical books to be read. Thanks for a great review!

Marg said...

I have this here to read soon. I hope I enjoy it as much as you did.

Lezlie said...

Pabast ~ I am a Tudor fiction junkie. I hope you have more space on your list, because there are more coming! :-)

Dar ~ You're welcome! I'm hoping to provide lots and lots of historical suggestions for people. I have some great stuff lined up in the next few weeks.

Marg ~ I can't wait to see what you think of it!


Taminator said...

I love your review, Lezlie. I haven't read this one by Barnes so I'll be looking for it. Have you read The Autobiography of Henry VIII by Margaret George? It also shows Anne living confidently after her divorce. It's one of my all time faves.

Good job!

Tammy from ontheporchswing

Lezlie said...

Taminator ~ Thanks! And I did read the Margaret George book. In fact, it was the first "Tudor" book I ever read, fiction or non. Because of that, I was still new to the whole who's who, so the only thing that really has stuck with me was that I loved the book. It's one I intend to revisit sometime now that I'm far more familiar with the cast of characters. Thanks for reminding me!


Teddy Rose said...

You just added another to Mt. TBR! There is a great threat for an avalance! Oh my! Loved your review Lezlie!

Lezlie said...

Teddy Rose ~ Thank you! I hope I'm steering you well! :-)