Friday, October 10, 2014

Inglorious Royal Marriages: A Demi-Millennium of Unholy Mismatrimony by Leslie Carroll

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Obtained from: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Read: August 31, 2014

It’s no secret that the marriages of monarchs are often made in hell. Here are some of the most spectacular mismatches in five hundred years of royal history... In a world where many kings, queens, and princes lacked nothing but true love, marital mismatches could bring out the baddest, boldest behavior in the bluest of bloodlines. Margaret Tudor, her niece Mary I, and Catherine of Braganza were desperately in love with chronically unfaithful husbands, but at least they weren’t murdered by them, as were two of the Medici princesses were. King Charles II’s beautiful, high-spirited sister “Minette” wed Louis XIV’s younger brother, who wore more makeup and perfume than she did. Forced to wed her boring, jug-eared cousin Ferdinand, Marie of Roumania—a granddaughter of Queen Victoria—proved herself one of the heroines of World War I by using her prodigious personal charm to regain massive amounts of land during the peace talks at Versailles. Brimming with outrageous real-life stories of royal marriages gone wrong, this is an entertaining, unforgettable book of dubious matches doomed from the start.

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Leslie Carroll's Inglorious Royal Marriages is the kind of nonfiction I wish I came across more often. It tells a story and it's wonderfully detailed, but it is at the same time playful and entertaining. 

Capitalizing on public interest for gossip and celebrity drama, Carroll boldly delves into the high stakes game of royal marriage and the spectacular fallouts that ensued when husband and wife found themselves utterly incompatible. Some of the haplessly wedded royals are very known, others less so, but I found that even the sections covering material with which I was already familiar delightfully witty. 

I also love that Carroll took the trouble to explain the political wheeling and dealing that led to each unfortunate alliance. Royal marriages were essentially business transactions, contracts made for wealth, power and favors and I think that incredibly important to understand when examining royal unions. 

All told, Inglorious Royal Marriage is an excellent collection for those in the know as well as those discovering these stories for the first time. Highly recommended. 

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No one expected the spouses to be in love, or even to love each other, and yet their families and friends would always act surprised when the man and wife barely got along and the marriage failed.
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Check Out All the Stops on Leslie Carroll's Inglorious Royal Marriages Blog Tour Schedule


Tuesday, September 2
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Interview at Scandalous Women
Wednesday, September 3
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry
Thursday, September 4
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Friday, September 5
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Monday, September 8
Review & Giveaway at Bibliophilia, Please
Tuesday, September 9
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Spotlight at Princess of Eboli
Thursday, September 11
Review at The Lit Bitch
Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection
Friday, September 12
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Monday, September 15
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Tuesday, September 16
Spotlight & Giveaway at Reading Lark
Wednesday, September 17
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Saturday, September 20
Review at WTF Are You Reading?
Tuesday, September 23
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court
Wednesday, September 24
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Review & Giveaway at To Read or Not to Read
Thursday, September 25
Review at Bookish
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession
Friday, September 26
Review at The Musings of ALMYBNENR
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict

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