A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories History's Wickedest Weirdest MostWanton Kings Queens [NOOK Book]

Overview

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...
See more details below
A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories History's Wickedest Weirdest MostWanton Kings Queens

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price

Overview

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.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In another royal expos , Farquhar, a writer at the Washington Post, duplicates some of the ground covered in Karl Shaw's Royal Babylon (reviewed above), such as Peter the Great's delight in administering torture (he had his son lashed to death) and the way Britain's Queen Mary cajoled her subjects into giving her their household treasures ("I am caressing it with my eyes," she would coyly coo). Written in a provocative tabloid style (with headings like "We Are Not Abused. We Are Abusive," "A Son Should Love His Mother, But..." and "All the Holiness Money Can Buy"), Farquhar publicly washes the dirty laundry of not only European royalty, but also of Roman emperors and popes. Murderers and torturers who slept with their siblings (and other relatives), the emperors of Rome excelled at corruption. The maniacal pedophile Tiberius Caesar (A.D. 14-37) left the corpses of his many victims to rot on the Gemonian Steps, which descended from the Capitol to the Forum, or alternatively enjoyed watching them being thrown from a cliff ("A contingent of soldiers was stationed below to whack them with oars and boat hooks just in case the fall failed to do the trick"). Many popes were no better. Not content with just rooting out Christian heretics by launching a bloody crusade against the Cathars in southern France, Innocent III (1160-1216) declared himself ruler of the world. He sacked Constantinople and massacred every Muslim he could find. Like Royal Babylon, this gossipy string of anecdotes is a popularized rather than an authoritative history and perfect for travel reading. (May 1) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101010396
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/1/2001
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 99,808
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Michael Farquhar is a writer and editor at the Washington Post specializing in history. He is the author of the bestsellers A Treasury of Great American Scandals and A Treasury of Royal Scandals. He appeared on the History Channel’s Russia, Land of the Tsars and will be featured on a forthcoming program about the French Revolution.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt



Chapter One


From Russia with
Lots of Love


Catherine the Great loved horses. She also loved sex. Contrary to popular legend, however, she never managed to unite the two passions. Still, the autocratic empress of Russia brought all the enthusiasm of a vigorous ride to her extremely busy bedroom.

    After ridding herself of her imbecile husband Peter III in 1762, Catherine grabbed the Russian crown and came to dominate her kingdom for the next thirty-four years. Boldly indulging herself as she grew more secure in her position, the empress consumed handsome young lovers with an appetite that sometimes shocked her contemporaries. "She's no woman," exclaimed one, "she's a siren!"

    The empress relished her weakness for men, abandoning herself to a giddy romanticism that belied her cold and pragmatic rule. She loved being entertained, even into old age, by a succession of well-formed young studs eager to please her. "It is my misfortune that my heart cannot be content, even for one hour, without love," she wrote.

    Sharing the empress's bed brought ample rewards, not the least of which was an intimate proximity to power, but getting there wasn't easy. A good body and a pleasant face, combined whenever possible with wit and intelligence, were merely starters. Potential lovers also had to have the right pedigree and pass a crucial test. Catherine had several ladies-in-waiting—test drivers of sorts—whose job it was to ensure that all candidates for their mistress's bed were up to the highly demandingtask of satisfying her.

    The applicants were most often supplied by the empress's one-eyed ex-lover—the man many assumed to be her secret husband—Gregory Potemkin. She had fallen in love with this rough, hulking officer relatively early in her industrious sexual career, overcome by his brash courage, quick wit, and almost primitive sexuality. Wasting little time disposing of Alexander Vassilzhikov, her boyfriend at the time, Catherine was delighted the first night Potemkin came to her bedroom, naked under his nightshirt and ready for action. "I have parted from a certain excellent but very boring citizen," the empress wrote to a confidante, "who has been replaced, I know not how, by one of the greatest, oddest, most amusing and original personalities of this Iron Age."

    Because of his long greasy hair, and brutish unwashed body, many women found Potemkin repulsive. Catherine, however, reveled in his strength, charm, and sexual domination. She couldn't get enough of this strange man who made her forget her royal dignity. Whenever they were parted, even for a few hours, she regaled him with an avalanche of feverish love notes, each peppered with at least one of her special pet names: "My marble beauty," "my darling pet," "my dearest doll," "golden cock," "lion of the jungle," "my professional bon-bon."

    In one letter, she pretended to be shocked at the intensity of her passion and tried to get hold of herself: "I have issued strict orders to my whole body, down to the smallest hair on my head, not to show you the least sign of love. I have locked my love inside my heart and bolted it ten times, it is suffocating there, it is constrained, and I fear it may explode." In other letters she gloried in his good company: "Darling, what comical stories you told me yesterday! I can't stop laughing when I think of them ... we spend four hours together without a shadow of boredom, and it is always with reluctance that I leave you. My dearest pigeon, I love you very much. You are handsome, intelligent, amusing."

    Of course Catherine loved the sex, and in her exultation could sound much more like a bad romance novelist than the authoritarian empress of all the Russias:


—"There is not a cell in my whole body that does not yearn for you, oh infidel! ..."
—"I thank you for yesterday's feast. My little Grisha fed me and quenched my thirst, but not with wine...."
—"My head is like that of a cat in heat...."
—"I will be a `woman of fire' for you, as you so often say. But I shall try to hide my flames."


    Moody and temperamental, subject to bouts of black depression and fits of jealousy, Potemkin was sometimes lovingly scolded by his royal mistress: "There is a woman in the world who loves you and who has a right to a tender word from you, Imbecile, Tatar, Cossack, infidel, Muscovite, morbleu!" The relationship was so physically intimate that Catherine did not hesitate to share even the most unflattering of ailments with him: "I have some diarrhea today, but apart from that, I am well, my adored one.... Do not be distressed because of my diarrhea, it cleans out the intestines."

    There is no surviving evidence to support the rumor that Catherine secretly married Potemkin, although she often referred to him in her letters as "my beloved spouse," or "my dearest husband." Married or not, the relationship certainly transcended the bedroom as it evolved into a close political partnership. Catherine shared her vast kingdom with Potemkin as if he were her king. She consulted with him on all affairs of state, working closely with him on her ambitious plans to expand Russia's borders and crush the Muslim Turks.

    The empress's powerful lover is perhaps best remembered for the legendary "Potemkin Villages" he is said to have created for her benefit as she embarked on a grand tour of all the newly Russianized lands he had conquered for her. These "villages," it was said, were little more than elaborate stage sets of prosperous towns, populated by cheerful serfs, all of which were quickly collapsed and set up again at the next stop on Catherine's carefully plotted itinerary. The artificiality of the Potemkin Villages came to represent in the minds of many, Catherine's superficial and halfhearted attempts to reform and liberalize her kingdom.

    Though the relationship with Potemkin endured until his death in 1791, the sexual intensity between them dimmed after only a few years. No longer champion of the empress's boudoir, Potemkin resolved to retain her favor by pimping his replacements. He handpicked a steady succession of new lovers for his erstwhile mistress—all of whom paid him a handsome brokerage fee for the privilege of servicing her. There was Zavadovsky, followed by Zorich, followed by Rimsky-Korsakov, followed by Lanskoy, followed by Ermolov, followed by Mamonov and so on and on, and on.

    After being installed in the official apartment set aside for Catherine's lovers, each new favorite was feted and adored by the passionate monarch with almost girlish enthusiasm. But each, in turn, was eventually dismissed, either for boring Catherine or breaking her heart. Few, however, left her service without a handsome settlement. When Zavadovsky was dismissed in 1776, for example, Chevalier de Corberon, the French chargé d'affaires in Russia, wrote that "He has received from Her Majesty 50,000 rubles, a pension of 5,000, and 4,000 peasants in the Ukraine, where they are worth a great deal [serfs at the time were tradeable commodities, like cattle].... You must agree, my friend, that it's not a bad line of work to be in here."

    One ex-lover, Count Stanislas Augustus Poniatowski, was even given the crown of Poland, although Catherine did eventually hack away huge chunks of his kingdom and absorb them into her own. All told, the generous payments to fallen lovers amounted to billions of dollars in today's currency. When her friend, the French philosopher Voltaire, gently chided Catherine for inconsistency in her love affairs, she responded that she was, on the contrary, "absolutely faithful."

    "To whom? To beauty, of course. Beauty alone attracts me!"

THE RIDE DOWN MT. MORGAN


By ARTHUR MILLER

PENGUIN BOOKS
Penguin Group

Copyright © 1999 Arthur Miller and Inge Morath Miller as Trustee. All rights reserved.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction xiii
Family Trees xv
The Normans
The Angevins
Houses of Lancaster and York
House of Tudor
House of Stuart
House of Hanover
House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor
House of Valois
House of Bourbon
House of Romanov
The Spanish Habsburgs
Part I: The Lust Emperors 1
1. From Russia with Lots of Love 3
2. French Kiss 8
3. England Swings 16
Part II. Six Royals Sinning 27
1. Envy: If Anyone Should Oppose This Union 29
2. Pride: Here Comes the Sun King 34
3. Wrath: Have an Ice Day 39
4. Gluttony: Eat, Drink, and Be Mocked 41
5. Covetousness: Hail Mary, Full of Greed 46
6. Sloth: An Idle Mind Is the Duchess's Playground 48
Part III: Unholy Matrimony 53
1. Mad About You 55
2. Until Divorce or Decapitation Do Us Part (in Six
Sections) 59
3. Head Over a Heel 81
4. A Wedding! Let's Celibate! 86
5. Wails From the ViennaWood 89
6. A Marriage Made in Hell 94
Part IV: Mom Was a Monster, Pop Was a Weasel 99
1. How to Make a Bloody Mary 101
2. Jane Grey's Blues 108
3. Hun, I Shrunk the Kid 112
4. Peter the Not-So-Hot 115
5. We Are Not Abused. We Are Abusive 120
Part V: Royal Family Feud 125
1. The Royal Raptors 127
2. Crown of Thorns 130
3. Trouble in the House of Tudor 140
4. Shattered Sorority 147
5. Dislike Father, Dislike Son 151
6. In-Laws on the Outs 156
7. The Battling Bonapartes 158
Part VI: Strange Reigns 171
1. Temper, Temper 173
2. Swimming in a Shallow Gene Pool 175
3. The Belle of Versailles 180
4. A Great Mind Is a Terrible Thing 182
5. Drool Britannia 186
6. The Law Is an Ass 191
7. The Eyes Have It 194
Part VII: When in Rome 201
1. The Rage of Tiberius 203
2. Oh, God! 207
3. I Claudius, Aren't I? 211
4. A Son Should Love His Mother, But 215
5. The Year of Living Dangerously 217
Part VIII: Papal Vice 221
1. Not So Dear Johns 223
2. A Matter of Grave Consequence 226
3. Her Holiness? 228
4. King of Kings 231
5. Innocent Proven Guilty 233
6. Feel the Burn 237
7. Papal Bully 239
8. Will the Real Pope Please Rise? 245
9. Double, Double, Toil and Trouble 247
10. All the Holiness Money Can Buy 250
11. Indulge Me If You Will 255
12. In the Ghetto 257
Part IX: Death Be Not Dignified 259
1. A Tight Squeeze 261
2. A Royal Pain in the Ass 263
3. Spinning in Her Grave 265
4. Strike Three 267
5. Prescription for Disaster 270
6. A Look of Detachment 271
7. Eat Your Heart Out 272
8. Royal Flush 274
9. A Lot Off the Top 275
10. The Case of the Purloined Penis 279
11. Extreme Overkill 281
12. It's Not Nice to Kill the King 285
Appendix I: British Monarchs (1096-present) 287
Appendix II: French Monarchs (1515-1814) 298
Appendix III: Russian Monarchs (1682-1917) 301
Appendix IV: Timeline Featuring a Chronological Index of
Monarchs in the Treasury and Concurrent Events in the Western 305
Select Bibliography 321
Acknowledgments 324
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 44 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 13, 2012

    History can be fun! Read this book!

    What an intriguing read this turned out to be. Sometime last year while I was going to college I skipped a day (one of many days when I skipped) and I went to Goodwill on a Friday for their weekly 50% off sale to see if I could score any good reads and I found this one on the top shelf.


    Unfortunately I'm still trying to figure out why it took me over a year to read it, I mean I love the cover, the title and the summary both hold promises of a delightful read but no. I picked it up many times with the intentions to start it but it wasn't until last month that I actually got around to reading it.


    What I liked most about the book apart from it offering up some very interesting and some very perverted details about the royal families was that the book didn't just center on the royal families of England and France it encompassed all the European royal families and let me tell you they're a rather colourful bunch of families and talk about inbreeding!


    Since this is my first time reading anything by the author I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up liking the way he used historical facts while making the book entertaining for the reading to make it easy to read. I think the reason that a lot of people stay away from non-fiction titles about the aristocracy and history in general because the books tend to be written in such a dry, heavy manner that doesn't allow for the casual reader to enjoy the words on the pages.


    Luckily, this one is full of puns an some very inappropriate comments about the kings and queens of old. Honestly they weren't the type of people whom you would want to call a friend let alone family in those days since there were assassinations, be headings and forced marriages to deal with at every twist and turn. Truly some of the kings and queens were completely off their rockers.


    Fortunately the inbreeding, assassinations, be-headings and all the other ugly stuff are no longer a facet of modern royalty (for the most part) because, if we had to deal with some of the royals from the past we'd be screwed worse than we are now.


    While I read the book I learned a lot and I had fun doing it too. Then again I'm a history buff so I find this stuff entertaining all the time but for those unfamiliar with this type of book, and the book can be picked up an put down easily and it made me feel like I would be lost if I had to set it down because of how it was written and I had a lot of laugh out loud moments while I read it.


    Overall, I highly recommend this to those with a penchant for history and those with a sense of humour as well as those just wanting to read about the royal scandals. Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears have nothing on the scandals in this book. I'm looking forward to reading the other books that the author has written that follow this same topic as this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Best Part is...

    The Best Part is that you can put it down. Its divided into wonderful short chapters so that it makes a great bathroom read or a quick read during coffee. It only gets confusing because all the monarchs are named the same, but other than that Farquahr is an excellent author. I'm purchasing his other books now, they make for great anecdotes!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2006

    Love it....

    Loved it it was awesome...If you love history espcialy crazy history youll love this book....I read the whole thing in one day....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2013

    Want to go behind the scenes in History? Michael Farquhar is th

    Want to go behind the scenes in History? Michael Farquhar is the best author to take you there. With various antidotes and little known facts, you can learn more from one of Mr. Farquhar's books than you can in years of college history classes. Throw in the humor and wit and you have a book that you enjoy reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2012

    Not the best read

    Extremely unorganized the book jumps back and forth with notes refering to either past or future chapters. It does not give a in depth account of actual facts. A very dissapointing read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Great read

    If you are a history geek like me you will love this book. Could not put it down!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2010

    Love it.

    Definitely read this if you like history at all. I read it a couple of years ago and I think it made me like history more! I have ever since always wanted to know the back stories, because there is always something someone isn't telling you.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 17, 2009

    Wonderful read!

    This is one of my favorite books to read! Every story is provacative and fun. I was absorbed into it from the second I started reading it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    You need to appreciate this book for what it is.

    I have seen some complain about the length of the "naught anecdotes" but I thought that this one of the books cheifest charms. It is meant to be a light read, something whimsical and interesting. Not a book to sit down and plow through. This book is a great bathroom reader, or a book for someone that is so harried they can only make it thrrough a few pages at a time. Its a fun little read, and chances are you will learn something that you didnt know before. I also enjoyed the one liners Farqar occasionally threw in. I look forward to his other books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Boring

    It's like the author wrote a single 3"x5" notecard of 'naughty' info about any historical royal he could find info about, shuffled the cards into completely random order, then turned them over to his publisher, who astoundingly printed it. I bought this as a 'bargin priced' book-it was still a complete waste of money-2$, 5$, whatever piddly amount I paid-this book wasn't worth it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing!!

    I love love love this books...I am soo buying the rest of his book it was hilarious...soo funny...a must read!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Those Scandolous Royals

    A very intresting view of royalty through the ages. The entitlement and craziness made for a quick, interesting, educational read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2005

    Great Read!

    I love history and this book made it so much more interesting! The author had just enough humor, it kept me hooked until the end. I've re read it twice already! I definitely recommend this book to anyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2004

    Most Wicked

    Naughty wicked and bad! I shall reread it at once!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2004

    WONDERFULLY ENTERTAINING

    I really loved this book. It made me laugh, and taught me a few things along the way. Highly recommended!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2003

    Fantastic!

    Not only is this entertaining, but educational as well. I use it to 'spice up' my historical background lectures in my high school English classes--the kids love it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2003

    Incredibly funny

    This book is fantastic! I've given it to several friends who now understand why I find history so much fun! It takes an incredibly dry subject and really spices it up!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2003

    A Must Read!

    Extremly Funny.. This book gives the reader history that most historians don't know!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2003

    A Great Book

    A delightful mixture of history and juicy tidbits of not-so-nice royalty. For anyone with an inner gossip and an interest in history, this is perfect!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2002

    royal scandals is fabulous

    Wonderfully written, highly entertaining and largely informative. A great read..two thumbs way up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)