Monday, October 01, 2007

Question from M. L. - Anne of Cleves post-Henry VIII

When did Anne of Cleves convert to Catholicism, and where might I find information about her life post-Henry? Thanks!


Lara said...

There are a couple of books that might help - I haven't read either, so I might suggest trying to find them in a library before committing any money to buying them! The first is "The Marrying of Anne of Cleves" by Retha Warnicke and the other is "Anne of Cleves" by Mary Saaler.

Anonymous said...

I suggest Warnicke's book. It is superb.
Anne of Cleves was born in 1515, the same year Martin Luther promulgated his 95 Theses. At the time, there was only one legal faith in Europe: Roman Catholicism. Anne was therefore baptised and raised as a Roman Catholic. When she married Henry VIII in January 1540, her brother-in-law Frederick of Saxony (husband of Anne's sister Sybilla) was a leader of the Protestant Schmalkaldic League. Henry hoped Frederick and the League would support him in his ongoing conflict with the Roman Papacy. But Anne's brother Wilhelm, newly installed in 1539 as Duke of Juliers-Cleves, did not subscribe to the Lutheran Augsburg Confession and thus was unable to join the League. Cleves remained Catholic, though it did repudiate papal authority. Following her marriage (and divorce), Anne would have necessarily subscribed to the official religious doctrine of the English church, even as that doctrine evolved throughout Henry's last years and those of his son, Edward VI. Her religious conformity would have been a condition of remaining in possession of her lands and wealth, some of which she notably lost during Edward's Protestant reign. She was buried as a Roman Catholic in 1557, after Mary had restored England to papal allegiance. No other religious service would have been possible at the time, whatever Anne's actual personal beliefs.

Anonymous said...

"Anne of Cleves" by Mary Saaler is to be avoided at all costs. I read it and was astounded to find out that Catherine of Aragon had no problem in being divorced!

Hopefully, that was just a typo because the rest of the book seemed pretty spot-on as far as Henry's 4th wife was concerned. Still, after reading that statement, the information offered about Anne had to be taken with a HUGE grain of salt.

Have not read Warnicke's book.

Anonymous said...

I have read Saaler's book on Ann of Cleaves. Nowhere is Catherine of Aragon portrayed as 'having no problem' with the divorce. On the contrary on pgs 74-75 of my copy, she is shown to have fought for 9 years for that marriage.

I highly recommend Saaler's book.