Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Question from Lindsay - Sources for background on Anne of Cleves

I am preparing a paper to present as a writing sample for a Graduate level history program I am attempting to enter come Fall of 2011, and am looking for information on the atmosphere in which Anne of Cleves grew up, specifically her home life after her fathers death. Also, any documentation on her brief marriage to Henry VIII would be good as well, as this is a comparative study of the two countries and their courts at the time just before, during, and just after this marriage took place. Books or website information would be helpful, the more specific the better. Please do not include Wikipedia information, as I need legitimate sources for a bibliography. Thank you!


Tracey said...

There is an 'old' bio of Anne of Cleves by Mary Saaler. Take what she says with a grain of salt, unfortunately.

Unless the great gaff has been corrected, Ms Saaler wrote that Catherine of Aragon was hunky-dory with the idea of a divorce from Henry VIII.

Anne's life itself all seemed logical from other tidbits of info read in the past. I just get really suspicious, though, when a bio presents SUCH a glaring error.

PhD Historian said...

Lindsay, for your purposes, avoid the Saaler biography of Cleves (no offense to Tracey, but Lindsay needs to utilize works by trained academic historians, not writers of popular history, if she wants to get into grad school). In fact, you might want to think very carefully about the subject you have chosen. Anne grew up in Cleves, so the primary sources (critical for a grad-school-level essay) you need will originate from there, and they will be in German rather than English. I am not familiar with the primary sources on Anne of Cleves before she arrived in England, but I rather suspect they are not numerous. Sources for women's lives before marriage are extremely scarce for the period. For the narrow timeframe of her marriage and the years thereafter, see Retha Warnicke's The Marrying of Anne of Cleves. I'd be happy to offer some more detailed guidance on applying to grad school, if you'd like. Lara can give you my direct email address.

nc-johnbech said...

Hi Lara,
Please excuse my English for I am German but I have just spotted your posting and wanted to give you some support to ANNE of CLEVES.
At first you should mention,that Anne's real & full name has been "ANNE of CLEVES-JÜLICH-BERG" !
And although historical ressources tell us that she had been born in Cleves,she was indeed born in DÜSSELDORF.
She and her sisters did also not grow up in Cleves,but were risen up by their mother at a castle called "SCHLOSS BURG",which had been built & owned for centuries by the COUNTS & DUKES of BERG.
The Counts/Dukes of Berg had been a very powerful family through the whole Middle Ages.They had been regents,advisers & godparents of some emperors of the HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE like Friedrich BARBAROSSA & his grandson Friedrich II.
Some of them also inherited the title "Archbishop of Cologne" and are therefore buried in a golden shrine in the Cologne Cathedral.
The Counts/Dukes of Berg's castle still exists till today(we did a Medieval Banquett at our son's 18th.Birtday there)-with a part being rebuilt in the 19th.century- and it is located in the County of "BERGISCHES LAND",which is 30 km east of Cologne & the River Rhine.
Anne's mom,MARIA of JÜLICH-BERG,a daughter of the HOUSE of BERG,was also born there.
Maria was proposed to the Duke of Cleves son(who was then 7 years of age)at the age of 4 there. This event,which is shown on a big wall painting in the ancestors gallery at Schloss Burg,is remembered in German history books as the so called "Children proposal" till today.
Also both of Anne's parents came from the "House of Berg",Anne's father only from maternal side.
When Anne left Germany for England,
she started her journey from SCHLOSS BURG - not from Cleves.
I only wanted to let you know this
,because my son & I are descendents
(from my fathers side)from the House of Berg.I also know that lots of Germans do not know these facts.So I hope this will help you a little while doing researches.
With best regards from Cologen,