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by F. Patton, after Hans Holbein the Younger, line engraving, probably 18th century

Anna of Kleve vs. Anne of Cleeves by Alison Weir

Posted on: 14/06/2018 with tags: alison weir, Anna of Kleve, Anne of Cleves, henry viii, Six Tudor Queens, Tudor

Why am I calling my next novel in the Six Tudor Queens series Anna of Kleve? Why not Anne of Cleves, as its subject is usually known? Firstly, I had decided at the outset that she was to be Anna, to distinguish her from Anne Boleyn and avoid confusion. For the same reason, I am using different spellings of Katherine for the three queens with that name: Katherine of Aragon, Katheryn Howard and Katharine Parr (I did suggest Kateryne Parr, as she herself spelt it, but we all felt it was too archaic).

But Anne of Cleves was actually called Anna; even Henry VIII wrote her name that way. And, if you google Cleves, you will get Kleve (pronounced Klayva), which is the correct spelling. I wanted to set Anna in an authentic German context and, as the novel is written from her viewpoint, it seemed only right that she would think of her homeland as Kleve, rather than Cleves.

There are some surprises in the novel – and the first chapters may be startling, but I have built them on a new thread of research. It was something Henry VIII said that gave me my storyline – but I did not expect to find what could be construed as corroborating evidence!

ANNA OF KLEVE: QUEEN OF SECRETS by Alison Weir publishes 2nd May 2019

Jo Liddiard

Post author: Jo Liddiard

Jo represents Headline on the H for History team, and likes to spend her Sunday afternoons wandering the gardens of historical buildings. Preferably with ice-cream. Favourite period of history: V hard to pick but probably The Tudors! Favourite historical read: Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy or Lyndsay Faye’s The Gods of Gotham Upcoming book I’m most looking forward to: Antonia Hodgson’s A Death at Fountains Abbey

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