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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 62 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 (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 2, 2006
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: 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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Format: Hardcover
Ms. Herman captures the tone of this book perfectly -- whimsically recounting the intrigues, romances, love and horror stories over 900 years of Royal contretemps, across the imperial courts of Spain, Europe, England and Russia.

I found this book to be thoroughly enjoyable -- a quick, engaging, and carefully researched look at the sometimes incredible lives of the royals. The queens had their work cut out for them, what with various impediments, sexual and otherwise, placed in their way to a fulfilling love life. These kings were a bunch of losers, for the most part, though the queens weren't always so hot either.
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Format: Hardcover
More than the scandalous relationships of royal women, this delightful book offers insight into the often dreary lives of royal wombs. No wonder queens looked beyond their impotent, idiot kings for some kind of life. They risked everything in the exciting and dangerous game and lost more than they won. Great read, great insight and wonderfully written.
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