Children of the House of Cleves: Anna and Her Siblings (Hardcover)

Children of the House of Cleves: Anna and Her Siblings By Heather R. Darsie Cover Image

Children of the House of Cleves: Anna and Her Siblings (Hardcover)


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The first book to look at the lives of Anna of Cleves’ siblings, particularly her powerful brother Wilhelm V and her elder sister Sybylla, and their interactions with the Holy Roman Empire, England, and France, which had a significant impact on the Reformation.

Children of the House of Cleves describes and analyzes the lives of Sybylla, Anna, Wilhelm and Amalia, the children of John III, Duke of Cleves.

Though his mother Maria was a staunch Catholic, Wilhelm of Jülich-Cleves-Berge was a Lutheran - when it suited him. He challenged the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V over the strategically important Duchy of Guelders. He believed that France would support him, but Francis I left him defenseless and Guelders became part of the Habsburg Netherlands. Sybylla became the Electress consort by marriage to electoral Prince Johann Friedrich of Saxony. He would be captured during the Schmalkaldic War, and Sybylla defended the city of Wittenberg under siege during his absence.

Both she and her husband were passionate supporters of the Reformation. Amalia was considered as a possible bride for Henry VIII before he chose her sister Anna. She was a great lover of music and poetry and author of a song book. These four children had an illustrious lineage - descended from both the kings of England and France and closely related to Louis XII and the Duke of Burgundy. Their various trials and triumphs illuminate the convulsions of 16th-century Continental and Tudor politics and the spiritual and civic revolution that was the Reformation. It began in the German states and these four lives were intimately involved in it.

Based upon primary documentary sources, Children of the House of Cleves explains what motivated or caused some of the largest wars on Continental Europe in the run-up to the 30 Years’ War in Germany, a time of massive religious and political strife.
Heather R. Darsie works as an attorney in the US. Along with her Juris Doctorate she has a BA in German, which was of great value in her research. She is currently studying for her Master’s in Early Modern History through Northern Illinois University. She runs the website and regularly contributes to and She is the author of Anna, Duchess of Cleves.
Product Details ISBN: 9781445699424
ISBN-10: 1445699427
Publisher: Amberley Publishing
Publication Date: September 12th, 2023
Pages: 288
Language: English
‘This deeply researched book from the world’s foremost expert in the field finally sets Queen Anne of Cleves in her proper context – as part of a ducal dynasty at the heart of Renaissance Europe.’, Suzannah Lipscomb    

I found it very helpful that the text was divided into logical chapters and sections, making it easier to follow the narrative as we go on a journey across a continent at war.', Family Tree Magazine, October 2023    

Darsie has done a masterful job of collecting and presenting the story of Anna and her siblings to an English audience concisely.', Adventures of a Tudor Nerd, 15 June 2023    

This is a book that should appeal to a broad range of audiences; it is authoritative, readable and fascinating.', All About History Magazine, October 2023