“The Lucky Lady Anne of Cleves – Henry’s Fourth Wife” or “Anne of Cleves, Henry’s Luckiest Wife” tells the story of the fourth wife of Henry VIII. The reader learns not only of Anne’s life as Queen, but also of her life before and after her marriage to one of England’s most dangerous kings.
’s well-researched novel provides us with a detailed insight into what it must have been like to live – and die – in this period of Tudor history. The author clearly portrays Henry’s need for a wife who will provide him with sons and, at the beginning of the book, we read of Chancellor Thomas Cromwell’s attempts to provide Henry with a suitable spouse. Anne of Cleves is the chosen one, based largely on a portrait of her by Holbein. However, Henry’s eager anticipation of his new wife turns sour on meeting her and then begins a long series of negotiations to end the marriage. But what will the result be for Anne? Will she meet the fate of Anne Boleyn, or that of Katherine of Aragon? The author reveals her fate in the second half of the book.
I thoroughly enjoyed “The Lucky Lady Anne of Cleves – Henry’s Fourth Wife”. Although I had known some of the details of Anne’s life, I learned a great deal more from this book. David Lawrence-Young skilfully blends fact and fiction, using different “voices” to describe and explain events. For example, we have a conversation between some ordinary citizens who have come for “a day out” , giving us a description the first official meeting of Henry and Anne ; sometimes, we hear from Anne herself. The use of dialogue certainly brings life to the storytelling and gives it pace.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys learning about English history, especially life in the Court of Henry VIII. I think that sometimes this type of book can spark real interest in learning more about the period of history and the people who lived at that time.
The author sent me a copy of his book in return for my honest review.