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Anna of Kleve, the Princess in the Portrait

Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
Series: Six Tudor Queens, Book 4
Length: 18 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (130 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The surprising and dramatic life of the least known of King Henry VIII's wives is illuminated in the fourth volume in the Six Tudor Queens series - for fans of Philippa Gregory, Hilary Mantel, and The Crown

Newly widowed and the father of an infant son, Henry VIII realizes he must marry again to ensure the royal succession. Forty-six, overweight, and suffering from gout, Henry is soundly rejected by some of Europe's most eligible princesses. Anna of Kleve, from a small German duchy, is 24 and has a secret she is desperate to keep hidden. Henry requests her portrait from his court painter, who portrays her from the most flattering perspective. Henry is entranced by the lovely image, only to be bitterly surprised when Anna arrives in England and he sees her in the flesh. Some think her attractive, but Henry knows he can never love her. What follows is the fascinating story of an awkward royal union that had somehow to be terminated. 

Even as Henry begins to warm to his new wife and share her bed, his attention is captivated by one of her maids of honor. Will he accuse Anna of adultery as he did Queen Anne Boleyn and send her to the scaffold? Or will he divorce her and send her home in disgrace? 

Alison Weir takes a fresh and astonishing look at this remarkable royal marriage by describing it from the point of view of Queen Anna, a young woman with hopes and dreams of her own, alone and fearing for her life in a royal court that rejected her almost from the day she set foot on England's shore.

©2019 Alison Weir (P)2019 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
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Could not stop listening...

I had forgotten the story of Henry's wives so this kept me on tenterhooks wondering how it would end. Great book. Loved every minute of it. Great reader too.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Wonderfully read by Rosalyn Landor ❤️

Love history stories read this way! Wonderfully written by Alison Weir and having Rosalyn Landor bring this story to life with her soothing voice and animating each character breathlessly.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Kind of drags on at the end

I was surprised that I liked this as much as I did. Jane and Anna have always been of little interest to me. This book was more interesting than Jane's. though 3/4 in it got pretty boring. Anna's problems just drag on and on. But at least she wanted to marry the king. Selfish wife killer or not if a guy gets three wives that go into the relationship with the thought "Well the king likes me....guess we're doing this" you have to feel bad for the guy

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Best of the Series so far

This all too rare in depth at Anna of Kleve is all the more fascinating specifically because it is so rare. The wife of Henry VIII most focus on is Anne Boleyn, and for good reason. But Anna getting such a thorough examination and fictional expansion was refreshing over all.

My only criticism would be the beginning of the story when Anna abruptly had sex with her cousin who she just met. I don't mind the fictional expansion of her having a premarital relationship that resulted in a baby. But there was no build up which made it impossible for me to believe in their love. That said, premarital pregnancy would explain Henry's comments about her.

Overall, this book was better than the previous ones. Weir breathed fresh life into Anna and presented an in-depth and unique look into Tudor England. The story also wasn't weighed down by the author's bias against Anne Boleyn.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful

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What is up with this series?

This was the third book in this series I could not get through. I'm a huge Tudor fiction fan and loved Alison Weir's earlier novels, but this series sounds like it was written for young adults. This story is cloying, a little condescending to the reader's intelligence and in some places, strays very far away from what we actually know about Anne f Clever. A big disappointment.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • JPHG
  • MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US
  • 07-16-19

Usually love the author’s works....

I couldn’t finish this one. Tried several times. I don’t know if there is any true historical basis for Anne’s lover and their son, but it wasn’t engaging enough for me to finish the book. Anne’s story is well known enough by Tudor enthusiasts such as myself, but I anticipated getting to know her better nonetheless and ended up bored and disappointed. Ms. Landor did a good job with the narration, which she always does, and it’s possible that is what carried me as far as I got. Not a bad story, but the reader should be aware it might not be what one expects.

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Weakest of Alison Weir

Normally, I love Alison Weir's books. However, I wasn't crazy about this story or the way it was written. Hoping for a better one next time.

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  • TikiQ
  • San Diego, CA
  • 07-08-19

really liked

this was very engaging. I found myself googling facts and increasing my knowledge base. would recommend

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WONDERFULLY DONE<br />

The third wife of Henry VIII had never interested me much, until I read this book. Wonderfully written and beautifully narrated story gives a unique look into both Anna of Kleves life, English court innervworkings, the power of the aristocracy and women's place there. Highly recommend

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outstanding interpretation

best Anna of Cleaved story ever. this book is an excellent read and makes you really think that what the author writes about Anna just might be true. And couldn't put it down.