Sunday, December 22, 2013

Princesses Behaving Badly

I am so not a princess kind of girl.  I mean, I had the nickname but that was because of my lazy teenage ways and my frustrated father. ;)  I was given the opportunity to review Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories From History without the Fairy-Tale Endings and I HAD to read it.  It is described as..

You think you know her story. You’ve read the Brothers Grimm, you’ve watched the Disney cartoons, you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But the lives of real princesses couldn’t be more different. Sure, many were graceful and benevolent leaders—but just as many were ruthless in their quest for power, and all of them had skeletons rattling in their royal closets. Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe was a Nazi spy. Empress Elizabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empire slept wearing a mask of raw veal. Princess Olga of Kiev murdered thousands of men, and Princess Rani Lakshmibai waged war on the battlefield, charging into combat with her toddler son strapped to her back. Princesses Behaving Badly offers minibiographies of all these princesses and dozens more. It’s a fascinating read for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story.

This book was so fascinating. Chock full of history and random interesting facts about royal families that isn't always put in the history books.  I loved the writers style and laughed quite a few times at the well-placed humor.  It was like reading an awesome episode on the History channel.  And I could totally picture it.  Might sound nerdy and weird but it's true.  I'd watch it.

I loved how each story started out with a little bit of what the history books say and then followed with a why that really wasn't the real or full story and all the nitty gritty that made up the whole truth or the perceived truth.

I was a bit confused following along with how some people are related because by golly they need to have different names, but it didn't really hurt my understanding of the bigger picture.  I'd highly recommend this book if you are interested in history, especially the royal families throughout history.  It taught me quite a few things and is probably going to nudge me into trying out some  biographies on some of these poor princesses.

Do you like reading about history? Do you read books about historical figures? Were you a 'princess' growing up?

Disclaimer: I was given this book by Quirk books to review.  All opinions are my own!

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