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Notorious Royal Marriages Paperback – 18 Mar 2010


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Amazon.com: 36 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A Delightful Romp! 23 Feb 2011
By elena maria vidal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Notorious Royal Marriage by Leslie Carroll is a delightful romp through European history by way of examining several of the most infamous couples of all time. Eleanor of Aquitaine and her consecutive kings, Isabella and Ferdinand, Juana and Philip, Henry VIII and all six Queens, Mary Stuart and Henry Lord Darnley, Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI, Alexandra and her Nicholas and many more. It is a book which I found not only highly entertaining but in each chapter, even those about royals whom I have studied, I always learned things I had never known before. In most instances, when addressing certain controversies, Leslie carefully presents the evidence, gives her opinion, but lets the reader draw their own conclusions. I have to say that I am impressed with the vast amount of information that was compiled for each royal marriage, yet summarized into compact narratives.

Royal Marriages has a distinct common touch that makes it an easy read but contains enough dates and details for any lover of history. While the chapter on Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette had a few items that Leslie and I could probably sit and debate about over cocktails, I was moved by the chapters on Franz Josef and Sissi, who suffered everything throughout their long and rocky marriage, as well as by the retelling of the saga of George IV and Mrs. Fitzherbert. I was very glad that Leslie pointed out the Nazi connection in recounting the bizarre relationship of Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII. Most of all, I loved the chapters on Mary Queen of Scots.

I had trouble putting this book down and must have been an incredible bore to my family over the holidays as I kept slipping away to read it. It was intriguing to see how even the best of marriages had ups and downs, with the complications of royalty adding to the challenges of compatibility.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Fun but wrong. 28 Mar 2011
By Sammie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Its certainly a fun read, but it is wildly innacurate in many places. I have read hundreds of books on the Tudors, and some of the stuff in here was news to me, and not in a good way. In an effort to make this a good read the writer added many untrue things and definetly slanted the information to suit her own opinions and biases.
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Notorious Royal Marriages mixes history, sex, scandal and salacious details of the royal couples who romp through these pages 27 Jan 2010
By C. M Mills - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Leslie Carroll has followed her bestseller "Royal Scandals" with another delightful page turner of the marital joys and sorrows of famous royal couples throughout history. The book takes us on a journey through marital (and sometimes martial!)land from the ninth century to the marriages of Prince Ranier and Grace Kelly and the doomed marriage of Diana and Charles.
Carroll earned her authorial spurs writing female fiction and her abilities as a storyteller are superb.. The author has done her homework and produced a readable page turner. The book would have been enriched by adding illustrations and pictures of some of the most prominent couples profiled. It is a hefty tome of 500 pages including many quotations and contemporary assessments by observers on the marriages under review. This is not the history you read it school but the incidents related were important to the marriage partners and their nations.
Aong the many royal marriages these couples stood out:
Henry VIII and his six wives get the most chapters. Catherine of Aragon from Spain who was abandoned for Anne Boleyn (who Henry beheaded); Jane Seymour who gave the lusty and cruel monarch his only son Edward VI. (she died as a result of childbirth); Anne of Cleves whom Henry cast aside; Katharine Howard executed for adultery and treason and the kind and reformed minded Katherine Parr who nursed Henry in his years of declining health.
Tragic stories abound in this book. Nicholas and Alexandra whose love was strong but who were executed by the Communists in 1918 along with their family; Queen Victoria and her beloved Albert who had nine children and remained faithful unto death and Franz Jospeh and Susi his anorexic wife. Mary Queen of Scots died on the block and had three marriages while Catherine the Great had countless lovers and may have poisoned her idiotic tsar husband. Eleanor of Aquitane was imprisoned by her husband Henry II and was a tough medieval cookie who knew the ways of diplomacy, war and the bedchamber. Napoleon was a cad to Josephine who, nevertheless, loved him.
Anyone expecting this book to read like a Harlequin Romance is condemned to disappointment. It is a well written history of the marriages that mattered among the elite of various European nations. Carroll has done a good job!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Love is in the air... and some affairs too 22 Mar 2010
By cellochick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I cannot stop reading and re-reading this book! Well written, well researched, and one of the greatest books I have read in quite some time. One of my favorite features about this is that although it is organized chronologically, you can still read this book in sections and skip around to your favorite stories. The author presents her opinions in an appropriate manner, which I believe causes the reader to engage further with the text. You will not be able to put this book down. I especially appreciated the juicy bits on Grace Kelly and Wallace Simpson.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great reading but in need of editing and fact checking 8 Feb 2010
By Reviewer from Queens - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Overall, I enjoyed this book tremendously, it covered several centuries of royal marriages in various countries of Europe. Its series of accounts of royal marriages began with Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine through Prince Charles' and his first and second wives, Lady Diana Spencer and Camilla Parker Bowles. All six marriages of Henry VIII are chronicled plus include chapters on legendary matches of Victoria and Albert; Ferdinand and Isabella; Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI; the Duke and Duchess of Windsor; and Napoleon and Josephine. Readers should also appreciate the chapters on the stormy marriages of George I and Sophia Dorothea of Celle; Mary Queen of Scots and Lord Darnley; George IV and Caroline of Brunswick as well as the true love matches of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville; Nicholas and Alexandra; and the love gone sour marriage of Franz Joseph and Empress Elizabeth. The author's writing makes this book absorbing and a must for historians and royal watchers. Carroll includes a bibliography for further reading.

I hope that future books about other royal marriages will be written by this author--there are many others that would be worthy subjects: for example Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh; George V and Queen Mary; Edward VII and Queen Alexandra; Charles I and Henrietta Marie; and Louis Napoleon and Empress Eugenie.

One quibble is the fact checking/editing. For instance: Andrew Parker Bowles is called Tom Parker Bowles at times; Guilford Dudley was not Edward Seymour's son; Princess Diana married at age 20 not age 19; and Prince Charles said "whatever in love means" not "whatever love means."

An excellent book for those already familiar with the royals and to those who are just starting their research on royal couples throughout history.
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