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Royal Pains: A Rogues' Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad Seeds Paperback – March 1, 2011
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About the Author
A frequent commentator on royal romances and relationships, Leslie has been interviewed by numerous broadcast, online, and print media, including MSNBC.com, USA Today, the Australian Broadcasting Company, NPR, Hearst Television, Inc., and she was a featured royalty historian on CBS nightly news in London during the royal wedding coverage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. She also appears as an expert on the love lives of Queen Victoria, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great, and Napoleon on the Proper Television series “The Secret Life of [fill in the name of famous figure]” for Canada’s History Channel. Leslie and her husband, Scott, divide their time between New York City and Washington, D.C.
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Top Customer Reviews
With her inimitable brand of poignancy, wit and humor, Leslie Carroll entertains us once more with her newly released book "Royal Pains: A Rogues' Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad Seeds." Once again, I looked for spare moments in which to slip away to my reading corner. Although the stories of naughty (and sometimes genuinely evil) royals are not without tragedy and pathos, Leslie's piquant observations are such that one cannot help but chuckle out loud from time to time. However, I do not recommend reading the horrific accounts of Vlad the Impaler, Ivan the Terrible, or Erzsébet Báthory before bedtime because the magnitude of their crimes might make it difficult to sleep. I suppose one should be comforted in the knowledge that there have always been psychopaths; our age is not unique in that respect. Nevertheless, in days gone by people did not try to justify or sanitize the actions of evildoers; a wicked tyrant was a wicked tyrant, and everyone knew it.
As in her previous books, Leslie skillfully pulls together reams of information into flowing narratives. Although I had encountered each of the historical personages before, in every case I found myself learning a great deal as well as garnering deeper insights into the various eras of history. The author is careful to mention the good deeds of the likes of bad King John and Ivan the Terrible; they did do a few magnanimous things for the common people, and so a balanced picture is given. As for some of the more complicated and mysterious characters such as Richard III and Crown Prince Rudolph, the evidence is presented but the reader is allowed to make up his or her own mind.
Some royals came off much better than I had expected.Read more ›
There were some entertaining chapters...Vlad III of Wallachia, Ivan IV and Lettice Knollys come to mind. Vlad and Ivan were truly terrible people. The things they did were absolutely horrible. By comparison, the stories of Pauline Bonaparte and Princess Margaret were positively dull. So Pauline was raging whore? That's not so bad. And Archduke Rudolf was involved in a murder-suicide (a story where pretty much everything pertaining to the actual events of the night he and his mistress died are hearsay. No one knows WHAT really happened).
Overall, this was a pretty forgettable book. I didn't hate it, but I certainly didn't love it. I found it was way too easy to set this down, and, depending on which chapter I was on, sometimes dreaded picking it back up. If you're interested in this type of reading material I recommend Behind the Palace Doors: Five Centuries of Sex, Adventure, Vice, Treachery, and Folly from Royal Britain or Royal Affairs: A Lusty Romp Through the Extramarital Adventures That Rocked the British Monarchy. These are both great books about the trouble that some royals members manage to get themselves into.
This is a very readable non-fiction book - it essentially reads like a novel. Leslie infuses her writing with wit and commentary that makes the pages just fly by and makes you sometimes outright laugh. I totally enjoyed reading this book. One thing that can be seen as a positive or as slightly negative (depending on your viewpoint) is the frequent usage of what I will call "thesaurus words". Sometimes I was so overwhelmed by words that I really didn't know (and I like to think I have a decent vocabulary). So either prepare yourself with a dictionary on hand or be prepared to just skip over them (or maybe you have a better grip on these words than I do!).
One improvement of this book over her previous release, Notorious Royal Marriages, was that there were fewer figures (chapters) - this lead to longer chapters and more little details about each individual being examined. It gives the reader more of a chance to get to know the royal before moving on to the next.
One small complaint I do have was sometimes it felt like we strayed away from the subject of the chapter to other characters for a little too long. It was important to give historical setting and to create a well rounded feel of the scene.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a truly entertaining read! I work so much and hardly can find time to read the books I order. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Elizabeth
I guess I read too much. This book, while somewhat interesting, was a rehash of a lot of other accounts I have read. I did get some insights however. Read morePublished 6 months ago by johnn
Delivered very promptly in excellent condition and at a good price. Biographies of some less than regal royals; part of a very considerable set of books on this topic by this... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Bernard Sussman
I didn't realize that Prince Charles was just a reincarnation of some of the worst men in historyPublished 15 months ago by BookWorm
Interesting read although weighted toward English royalty more than any other.Published 17 months ago by Ex Libris GM