Title: A Treasury of Royal Scandals
Author: Michael Farquhar
Genre: History, Humour, Nonfiction
From Nero’s nagging mother (whom he found especially annoying after taking her as his lover) to Catherine’s stable of studs (not of the equine variety), here is a wickedly delightful look at the most scandalous royal doings you never learned about in history class.
Gleeful, naughty, sometimes perverted-like so many of the crowned heads themselves-A Treasury of Royal Scandals presents the best (the worst?) of royal misbehavior through the ages. From ancient Rome to Edwardian England, from the lavish rooms of Versailles to the dankest corners of the Bastille, the great royals of Europe have excelled at savage parenting, deadly rivalry, pathological lust, and meeting death with the utmost indignity-or just very bad luck.
Now you would think with that kind of title, you would be presented with facts (be it known and not so unknown) of the debauchery that the Royals had participated in the past. Well, to be frank, it’s not like that. Sure the first few chapters were somewhat filled with sex scandals and whatnot, but only so few of them, and if you’re a fan of royal histories, I can bet you at least have read about it.
But that is not to say that the book did not worth the time. I knew from the beginning that books that consists of compilation such as this would not dive deep into every topic, but merely gave you the essential and off to different topics. So, I wasn’t necessarily disappointed or anything. Here’s one redeeming factor to this book for me, it gave me enough timeline and initial information on the houses of the British monarchs.
I was watching a documentary titled She-Wolves: England’s Early Queens during the time I was reading this book, and honestly the order of all those many British monarchs starting from William the Conqueror got me confused alright, so having read this book and getting the help from the family tree at the end of the book. Other than that, this book was an okay read, like it’s not bad nor is it good.
I have to point out that the book’s description of the night of the Romanov’s execution was so graphic. I don’t think in all the books I have read about the Romanov, there have not once that I’ve ever read one so graphic as the one mentioned in this book. It shook me, yanno? I have always considered what happened to the Romanov was quite tragic; I mean it is no more tragic than what happened during world war I, but when you put a name to a face so widely known and describe what their last moments were like, it struck deep. That’s what I think.
If you’re into history (scandalous or otherwise) but not in the mood to invest a lot of your time to read every single thing, then maybe this wouldn’t be a bad book to start. This is also work for a quick nice read on a weekday, because the language is easy to digest and not written in the way that is boring and pedantic.