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Sex with the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics (P.S.) Paperback – June 26, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The author of Sex with Kings and Sex with the Queen, New York Times bestselling historian Eleanor Herman has hosted episodes for the National Geographic Channel and the History Channel's Lost Worlds. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, she is married and lives in McLean, Virginia.

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Product Details

  • Series: P.S.
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060846747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060846749
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eleanor Herman is the New York Times best-selling author of Sex with Kings and Sex with the Queen, non-fiction works on the love lives of European royals through the centuries;Mistress of the Vatican, the biography of a woman who ran the Catholic Church in the 17th century for her reputed lover, Pope Innocent; and King Peggy, the true story of a Washington, DC secretary who became a king of Ghana. In 2015 her first YA novel came out. Legacy of Kings, Blood of Gods and Royals is the first of four books on the adventures of Alexander the Great at sixteen. It has been optioned by the WB network for a TV series. She has appeared on the National Geographic Channel, The History Channel, and the American Heroes Channel to comment about historical matters.

Eleanor is so immersed in the past she is sometimes surprised to find herself in the present. She lives in McLean, VA with her husband, four rescue cats, and a dog, and sneaks out to the movies periodically, not to see the movie, but actually to eat the hot buttered popcorn.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
At last year's Renaissance Faire, my mother heard a woman talking about her forthcoming book, "Sex With The Queen." Since I adored Eleanor Herman's "Sex With Kings," I spent a good ten minutes jumping around because she hadn't told me at the Faire, and then settled down to wait for the second book of royal love lives.

And Herman does not disappoint in "Sex with the Queen: 900 years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers and Passionate Politics." Without being biased one way or another, Herman explores centuries of queens who did the same as their kings, sometimes with tragic results. It's a juicy, scholarly book -- and that is not a contradiction.

Most European queens were raised to be chaste, demure and obedient, in the image of the Virgin Mary. They generally married young, knew nothing of sex or pregnancy, and were expected to spawn lots of kids. But some of these queens weren't content to just sit and embroider -- they ran straight into the arms of hot courtiers.

Some of these queens had mad or impotent husbands, and some were married to gay nobles -- one nobleman was overjoyed when his wife had an illegitimate child, which saved him from having to sleep with her. One or two (like Elizabeth I) never wed at all, leaving rumors of lovers and illegitimate children. They slept with warriors, peasants, priests, and other nobles, sometimes with tragic results -- and sometimes not.
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Format: Paperback
I sometimes wish that Amazon rated on a scale of 10 instead of 5--this is a better-than-3-star book. The book is truly a compendium of the triumphs and tragedies of women in high places for nine hundred years, and it's a romp to read. (It's also a better, and more sympathetic, book than Herman's first effortSex with Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge (P.S.)--better organized, and more accurate.) Ms. Herman's preferences for some royal ladies over others is very clear, though that is not a terrible flaw. My main problem with the book is expressed in the certainty of the captions of the many beautiful portraits reprinted in the book--there is some doubt that Marie Antoinette and Count Fersen were actually intimate, and very much doubt that Empress Alexandra ever slept with Rasputin--not that Rasputin wouldn't have tried. Certainly many believe as Ms. Herman does, including many of the subjects of these two queens, but I would have preferred it if she had presented both sides of the case, and let us decide. Nevertheless, especially if it whets your interest in history, royal or otherwise, this is a truly entertaining read.

PS I am curious about the choice of cover art for "Queen" versus that for "Sex with Kings"--why a lovely scantily clad lady on BOTH? Perhaps we would be seeing a more "feminist" work if the cover of "Queen" had featured an analagous male figure!
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Format: Paperback
While any book about adultery of nobles is bound to contain some entirely fictitious items we all assume to be true (c'mon, a lot of it is ANCIENT gossip!) I was a bit disappointed to see this book sink into more than a few discredited theories of infidelity regarding more than one Queen. I give three stars for the writing (quite entertaining,) 5 stars for the subject matter (again, hello - interesting,) but 1 star for accuracy. :P If you like giggling over rumors of the past, this is for you - it may offend the more serious reader of history (well, perhaps the title would stop you dead there, anyhow,) so...not for anyone who knows history well and doesn't want at least 5 eye-rolling moments where you can't believe someone actually put that in a book published within the last 5 (or 25, or 50 for that matter,) years... Sort of like saying Marie Antoinette said "Let them eat cake," which SHE never said, its full of some rather ridiculous and long-discredited theories with the good juicy gossip. Get it used, and have a laugh...recommended for entertainment purposes only. ;)
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Format: Hardcover
Unbelievably readable. Fascinating findings and conclusions. Many take-aways for men and women on how to co-manage the powers of sex and politics. Impeccable research and story-telling combined. Herman will certainly become one of this Century's great writers on women's history!

MJD April 2006
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Format: Paperback
This is a delicious and oftentimes informative read. However, the back of the paperback edition deems the book "impeccably researched." I think any serious scholar, to put it nicely, would disagree in the extreme with that statement. I was expecting new revelations and information, but the author only puts together a hodgepodge of stories compiled from secondary sources--many of which were based on speculation and rumor themselves. That said, the book overall does not disappoint in entertainment value. Some readers loyal to Princess Diana wil be taken aback by Herman's harsh portrayal of the Princess as a manipulative, mentally unstable wolf in sheep's clothing. One nice feature is the PS section at the back of the book, which has a lot about Herman's journey to becoming a best-selling author. Aspiring writers will enjoy the PS addition to the author's work.
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