To Be a Princess: The Fascinating Lives of Real Princesses

To Be a Princess: The Fascinating Lives of Real Princesses

by Brewster
     
 

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This stunningly visual, handsomely produced book contains the lives of the world's most fascinating princesses, including: Mary, Elizabeth I, Marie Antoniette, Victoria, Anastasia, Ka'iulani of Hawai'i, Gayatri Devi of India, and sisters Elizabeth II and Margaret Rose. Portraits of each princess are complemented with photographs of their possessions and period… See more details below

Overview

This stunningly visual, handsomely produced book contains the lives of the world's most fascinating princesses, including: Mary, Elizabeth I, Marie Antoniette, Victoria, Anastasia, Ka'iulani of Hawai'i, Gayatri Devi of India, and sisters Elizabeth II and Margaret Rose. Portraits of each princess are complemented with photographs of their possessions and period artifacts. Beyond the glamorous details of royal life are the personal stories—from family troubles to dramatic, often tragic events of war and intrigue.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Hugh Brewster and Laurie Coulter tell true stories of 12 famous females in To Be a Princess: The Fascinating Lives of Real Princesses. Among them: Queen Victoria, who ascended the throne at age 13, and Hawaii's Princess Ka`iulani, whose mother on her death bed declared that Ka`iulani would never be queen. Laurie McGaw's regal oil portraits open each section. Period prints and photographs, timelines, a glossary, index and selected bibliography round out the volume. ( Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
The princesses in this book do not always ride in gilded carriages nor marry handsome princes; rather, they find themselves locked in chilly towers and made pawns in arranged marriages to unfamiliar strangers. This informational picture book offers "inquiring minds" a behind-the-scenes look at the often less than glamorous lives of real life princesses. Brewster and Coulter present each princess in her historical context and as a result, emphasize that young women's lives are worthy of serious study. Photos and artifacts such as a reproduced letter from Princess Elizabeth to her half sister "Bloody Mary" complement the text. Laurie McGaw's paintings accompany the biographies but are less compelling than the reproductions of historical documents that the authors have collected. Time lines that pinpoint key historical events are included for each princess that reigned as queen; unfortunately this informative graphic organizer is not a feature of each biographical sketch. The authors attempt to address diversity and include Hawaiian princess Kaìulani, Indian Princess Gayatri Ayesha Devi and Princess Alia of Jordan; however, about half of the young women featured in the book hail from European monarchies. The result is that the book is a bit uneven in terms of the amount of information provided about less-well known princesses and in relation to diversity (one African princess is noted only in relation to Queen Victoria's life). Despite these limitations, the book provides a well-researched and welcome antidote to the fantastical representations of princesses in fairy tale lore. The book includes a glossary of terms, index, a bibliography and picture credits. 2001, MadisonPress/HarperCollins, $17.89. Ages 8 up. Reviewer: Elizabeth Marshall
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-Students and teachers alike will appreciate the research and literate style of this unusual approach to collective biography. The authors have chosen to focus on 12 royals-some well known, others more obscure-and to illustrate their public and personal lives. The book begins by exploring the rivalry between Queen Elizabeth I and her half sister, Mary Tudor. A later chapter is devoted to Hawaii's Princess Ka`iulani, who fought to keep her island nation independent, and who died tragically at age 24. Time lines place each princess in historical context, showing the national and world events happening during her era. Although the choice of royals doesn't exhibit a broad representation of nations (five of the princesses are from the British monarchy), the format works because of the informative artwork. Readers will want to study the color portraits that have been reproduced from museum collections. The authors offer meticulous credits for these and other illustrations, as well as a strong selected bibliography. However, because of this painstaking research, one wonders about the need for supplemental paintings by McGaw, used on the cover and throughout the work. Although they are beautiful, they serve to modernize the look of each princess. In a book as well documented as this, it seems that more can be learned from the original portraits than from stylized representations, but this criticism should not discourage purchase.-Barbara Buckley, Rockville Centre Public Library, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
For anyone who has ever wondered about the lives of real princesses, these seven chapters provide some eye-opening narrative. These royal girls did indeed live in splendid palaces and wear magnificent clothing and jewels, but they also encountered danger and duplicity and often had little control over their lives. Mary and Elizabeth Tudor were rivals for the English throne; Marie Antoinette had little background or training for the political position she was placed in as Queen of France. Hawaii's Ka'iulani never became queen, and the Tsar's four daughters died horribly with the rest of their family in 1918 Russia. Chapters focus on the early years of each princess, often on one or two events, and sometimes seem to end abruptly. The tone is informal and gossipy-more E! than History Channel-and tends to gloss over darker events, like Marie Antoinette's execution. The text is lavishly illustrated with McGaw's (Journey to Ellis Island, 1998, etc.) original paintings as well as photographs of contemporary artifacts and documents. Historical timelines are included for only some of the women's lives and the bibliography and glossary seem curiously truncated. But as this doesn't seem aimed at a scholarly audience, it will probably satisfy (and possibly enlighten) its intended readers. (glossary, selected bibliography, picture credits, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060294809
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/01/1901
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
9.38(w) x 10.76(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 14 Years

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