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Sex with the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politicsby Eleanor Herman
Synopses & Reviews
She was the queen, living in an opulent palace, wearing lavish gowns and dazzling jewels. She was envied, admired, and revered. She was also miserable, having been forced to marry a foreign prince sight unseen, a royal ogre who was sadistic, foaming at the mouth, physically repulsive, mentally incompetent, or sexually impotent—and in some cases all of the above.
How did queens find happiness? In courts bristling with testosterone—swashbuckling generals, polished courtiers, and virile cardinals—many royal women had love affairs.
When a queen became sick to death of her husband and took a lover, anything could happen—from disgrace and death to political victory. Some kings imprisoned erring wives for life; other monarchs obligingly named the queen's lover prime minister.
The crucial factor deciding the fate of an unfaithful queen was the love affair's implications in terms of power, money, and factional rivalry. At European courts, it was the politics—not the sex—that caused a royal woman's tragedy—or her ultimate triumph.
Book News Annotation:
A Virginia writer of history from a woman's perspective, Herman explores the lives and loves of European queens from the Middle Ages to Princess Diana. She tells her stories within generally chronological chapters with such titles as Medieval Queens, Tudor victims; 18th-century Russia: the unchaste empresses; and The turn of the 20th century: struggle for equality. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In this follow-up to her bestselling "Sex with Kings," Herman reveals the truth about what goes on behind the closed door of a queen's boudoir. Impeccably researched, filled with page-turning romance, passion, and scandal, this text explores the scintillating sexual lives of some of the most beloved and infamous female rulers.
About the Author
Eleanor Herman was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She studied journalism and German at Towson State University and languages in Europe. Named after Eleanor of Aquitaine, her grandmother twenty-eight times removed, she is related to most of the royal families of Europe. For eight years she was associate publisher for North America for NATO's Nations and Partners for Peacemagazine. An accomplished lecturer and TV and radio commentator on royal issues, Herman is married and lives in McLean, Virginia, where she writes history from a woman's perspective.
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