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Friday, July 13, 2012

A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors by Michael Farquhar

A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors 

From Nero's nagging mother (whom he found especially annoying after taking her as his lover) to Catherine's stable of studs (not of the equine variety), here is a wickedly delightful look at the most scandalous royal doings you never learned about in history class.

Gleeful, naughty, sometimes perverted-like so many of the crowned heads themselves-A Treasury of Royal Scandals presents the best (the worst?) of royal misbehavior through the ages. From ancient Rome to Edwardian England, from the lavish rooms of Versailles to the dankest corners of the Bastille, the great royals of Europe have excelled at savage parenting, deadly rivalry, pathological lust, and meeting death with the utmost indignity-or just very bad luck.
Summary taken from
Length: 324 pages (Hardcover)
Source: Personal Library
Publication Date: May 1st 2001 by Penguin (Non-Classics)         

What an intriguing read this turned out to be. Sometime last year while I was going to college I skipped a day (one of many days when I skipped) and I went to Goodwill on a Friday for their weekly 50% off sale to see if I could score any good reads and I found this one on the top shelf.

Unfortunately I'm still trying to figure out why it took me over a year to read it, I mean I love the cover, the title and the summary both hold promises of a delightful read but no. I picked it up many times with the intentions to start it but it wasn't until last month that I actually got around to reading it.

What I liked most about the book apart from it offering up some very interesting and some very perverted details about the royal families was that the book didn't just center on the royal families of England and France it encompassed all the European royal families and let me tell you they're a rather colourful bunch of families and talk about inbreeding!

Since this is my first time reading anything by the author I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking the way he used historical facts while making the book entertaining for the reading to make it easy to read. I think the reason that a lot of people stay away from non-fiction titles about the aristocracy and history in general because the books tend to be written in such a dry, heavy manner that doesn't allow for the casual reader to enjoy the words on the pages.

Luckily, this one is full of puns an some very inappropriate comments about the kings and queens of old. Honestly they weren't the type of people whom you would want to call a friend let alone family in those days since there were assassinations, be headings and forced marriages to deal with at every twist and turn. Truly some of the kings and queens were completely off their rockers.

Fortunately the inbreeding, assassinations, be-headings and all the other ugly stuff are no longer a facet of modern royalty (for the most part) because, if we had to deal with some of the royals from the past we'd be screwed worse than we are now. 

While I read the book I learned a lot and I had fun doing it too. Then again I'm a history buff so I find this stuff entertaining all the time but for those unfamiliar with this type of book, and the book can be picked up an put down easily and it made me feel like I would be lost if I had to set it down because of how it was written and I had a lot of laugh out loud moments while I read it.

Overall, I highly recommend this to those with a penchant for history and those with a sense of humour as well as those just wanting to read about the royal scandals. Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears have nothing on the scandals in this book. I'm looking forward to reading the other books that the author has written that follow this same topic as this one.

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Really Liked it!
★ ★ ★ ★


  1. LOL (I'm laughing at the Kim Kardashian bit)! Loved your review. The book sounds good.

    It has a long title.

    Good to know you enjoyed it. Though this does not fit snugly with 'my kinda' books, I think it would be interesting and as you said hilarious. Hmm... now when to go shopping. ;)

  2. This sounds like such a fun mix of history and humor!

  3. Haha this book looks really interesting! Thanks for sharing; I'll definitely check it out:] I just found your blog and will definitely be following it from now on. A few days ago I posted some summer reading lists on my new blog if you'd like to take a look:
    Thanks again!

  4. I love books like this. I definitely have to check this one out. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    ~Danica Page


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