From Publishers Weekly
Washington Post staffer Farquhar (A Treasury of Royal Scandals) probes 500 years of monarchical mishaps and misdeeds, screaming headlines and gleeful attacks by cartoonists. He uncloaks secrets, schemes, scandals, blood-soaked sheets, public humiliations, intrigues, and adultery. Illustrated with lineage charts and chronologically organized, chapters cover the houses of Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and Windsor. Farquhar begins with "savage bloodletting" during the reign of Henry VIII, so "monstrously obese" that it took 16 yeoman of the guard to lower his enormous coffin. Bonnie Prince Charlie, attempting to reclaim the British throne for the Stuarts, was defeated at the Battle of Culloden, became a fugitive, and "spen the rest of his life as an embittered paper prince." Suspicions surrounded Ernest, duke of Cumberland, after one of his valets was found with his throat slit. With amusing anecdotes, such as Queen Victoria's coronation ceremony going "wildly awry," Farquhar's style is a breezy pleasure throughout. (Mar. 8)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A "snappy chronicle of English kings, queens and knaves proves
a terrifically accessible history of English dynastic dysfunction...With the focus on the curious personalities themselves--and there are plenty, from monstrous Henry VIII to her limpid steadiness, Good Queen Bess--hilarity and pathos abound. Despite the surpassing familiarity of many of these tales, they become irresistible and even moving in Farquhar's able hands...
[A] lively rendition of the British imperial blues." -Kirkus Reviews
This little gem of a book serves as a perfect reference guide. Each chapter, with its own summary, reads like an adventure unto itself. It is like taking up with an old friend after an extended period away; it's just enjoyable.
-- Portland Book Review
"A well-researched popular retelling of some outrageous periods in the lives of perennially intriguing rulers. A good selection for lighter history reading on the lives of British monarchs and really good scandals."--Library Journal
"Those looking for choice examples of royal ignominy can open the pages of Farquhar's new compendium." -The Washington Post
"Imagine the history of the monarchy as told by the British tabloids and you have this rollicking account of kings and queens gone wild." -People