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Leidenschaft Im Dienst...
 
by
Eleanor Herman
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Leidenschaft Im Dienste Ihrer Majestät: Königinnen Und Ihre Liebhaber

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  2,791 ratings  ·  293 reviews
" Тя била кралица. Живеела в пищен дворец, носела разкошни одежди и ослепителни бижута. Но била нещастна... защото твърде често кралят се оказвал умствено изостанал, импотентен, тираничен или просто зает с грижи за любовницата си. "
Да си кралица било самотно и тъжно занимание. Единствената утеха в изпълнения с тестостерон кралски двор били обятията на някой смел генерал, и...more
366 pages
Published 2006 by Krüger (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Caroline
I hemmed and hawed over Eleanor Herman's "Sex with Kings", mainly because I really couldn't say much about historical accuracy without doing a ton of research. Or so I thought. Simply googling one of the queens featured in "Sex with the Queen" proved my suspicions of Herman's shoddy research and fact-bending correct. Then I looked at her bibliography, a detail I forgot in my last review, and... well.

The two stars here are, again, for Herman's nice prose and good selection. I definitely want to w...more
Meri
This book provides an interesting hook to tell 900 years of European aristocratic history. Adultery with queens was far more sensational than the routine indiscretions of kings. It came in several different forms, from powerful ruling queens who openly took several lovers at a time to consorts who were beheaded for one (falsified) indiscretion. Over all, a worthy peek into a side of history that you don't often learn in high school. Eleanor Herman has a knack for catchy and imaginative depiction...more
Ana Mardoll
Sex with the Queen / 978-0-061-75156-1

"Sex with the Queen" is an absolutely delightful romp through the sexual affairs and extramarital conduct of European queens and princesses. Author Eleanor Herman is clearly skilled and starts with a strong, clear look at life as a European princess and with the understanding that such a life was hardly a rose garden for most of the women involved. After carefully providing the reader with a close and deeply fascinating look at daily royal life throughout Eu...more
Lisa
Oh, there's just something about dirty laundry, especially when it's royal.

It's more of the same from Eleanor Herman, page after page of secret liasons and torrid affairs rampaging throughout European courts. It's a nice dip for the gossip in all of us.

However, if you read Sex With Kings, you'll probably recognize many of the anecdotes and instances cited--apparently as the king was screwing around, the queen didn't waste time either. Good for her.

Lots of courts were filled with intrigue and plo...more
Sue
A for effort, but F for format. Very difficult to follow who these people were when the story is so disjointed.

Lost interest around page 60 because we were going over the same people over and over, for different reasons.

Good details and juicy tidbits. One error found (page 51): there was no EMPRESS Sophie of Russia. She was the Regent (guardian of Ivan), half brother of Peter (the Great). Ivan died, Peter took over and Sophie was sent to a monastery after trying to overthrow him with the Boyars...more
Melody
Silly, salacious and about as meaningful as People Magazine, this book is compulsively readable. It's well-written, engaging and pruriently interesting. It appeals to all of the same trash receptors in one's brain that fuel the National Enquirer, Star and the other weekly mags featuring vapid celebrities. The big difference is that the vapid celebrities in the book are royal and dead. A fun read nonetheless.
Chris
My new hero is Marguerite-Louise of France, Grand Duchess of Tuscany. The Duchess found herself made to Cosimo de Medici in 1661. She didn't like him; it's easy to understand way. He was that Cosimo de Medici after all. They both had affairs. After the death of her father-in-law, Marguerite demanded to be allowed back to France where she could have fun. She finally was, and then put into a convent. She went out and partied anyway. The king got a new prioress who said no, no. Marguerite said yeah...more
Mandy Moody
This is actually a DNF for me :(
The format drove be crazy - everything seemed to be a "summary" - I kept waiting for the actual book to begin, but it never did.
There is, of course, a scarcity of information when it comes to the affairs of queens. Unlike Kings, Queens were expected to be virtuous, so their affairs were well hidden. Still, a good number of these accounts seem to be supposition of the time - an unreliable source in my opinion! Perhaps without using these stories Herman didn't have...more
PurplyCookie
In royal courts bristling with testosterone--swashbuckling generals, polished courtiers, and virile cardinals--how did repressed regal ladies find happiness?

- Anne Boleyn flirted with courtiers; Catherine Howard slept with one. Henry VIII had both of them beheaded.
- Catherine the Great had her idiot husband murdered and ruled the Russian empire with a long list of sexy young favorites.
- Marie Antoinette fell in love with the handsome Swedish count Axel Fersen, who tried valiantly to rescue he...more
veronica
Most of this book is definitely written much better in comparison with its mate, "Sex With Kings." However, the entire thing read like it had foregone an editor -- from chapter lengths to paragraphs to (seriously) incomplete sentences, at times several on one page, this book was wrought with technical issues, or, most likely, just bad writing. I am sorry to say that. Bad writing can make or break a non-fiction book, and in this case, it completely broke it. I couldn't even tell what I was readin...more
Adrienne
My lil' sis gave me this one. It's basically about various queens love affairs. The chapter on Marie Antoinette and Fersen, which was sufficiently romantic for my sensibilities, having been raised on BeruBara.

I have learned though, that while it may have been good to be the King (and even that's really debatable: The last King I read about was pretty much tortured into insanity by his tutors in their attempts to make him a 'real man') it was not good to be the Queen. Married off in your early te...more
Susan
The title sounds quite tawdry, but the book itself is far from a Harlequin Romance. It takes a look at what life was like for a queen, from Medieval Times through Queen Victoria’s reign. Most marriages were for political gain, where a daughter was bartered off to a husband that was disinterested, cruel, insane or homosexual. And a queen consort couldn’t necessarily distract herself from a loveless marriage through the opulence of court life - - castles were often cold, dark and rodent infested a...more
Teresa
This book was fascinating. It was a very thorough look at monarchies all over the world in a very long time span and it was incredibly well researched. Although there were parts that were pure speculation it really gave an interesting account of what the lives of these women were like. Being essentially sold off to another country sight unseen and where half the time they didn't even speak the language, the political slavery they lived in was incredible. It defintiely dispels any fantasy I may h...more
Deborah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meaghan
Nov 15, 2007 Meaghan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: royal history buffs
A history of European queens and their lovers, this is a very worthy companion to Herman's other book, Sex with Kings, a history of European kings and their mistresses. It was engagingly written, well-researched and full of titillating details. Even people who normally don't go for history will enjoy this. I highly recommend!
Sarah M
If you are into gossip and supermarket tabloids why not learn something while getting your fix? Brimming with historic royal scandal and intrigue, it's hard to put down. From a feminist point of view it's also nice to know that even back in the day not all women took it lying down!
Kristy
After Th Other Boelyn Girl, I was craving some more historical raunch! This is non-fiction, and reminds me of my old AP Euro Hist teacher who delighted in telling Catholic school HS girls scandalous sex tales of renaissance clergy & royals.
Lauren
Really excellent writing and fascinating material. Herman did a great job of humanizing historical figures and making them compelling without inundating the reader with too many dusty facts.
Rose
Entertaining and with some stories I hadn't previously heard, however there was too many 'she needed a strong man to take her forcefully' type comments.
Jessica
Fascinating look into the lives of European princesses and queens forced into loveless marriages.
Megan Gery
I didn't mean to read this book. I just saw the title in the library and found myself intrigued. I'm so glad I did! It's well-researched, well-organized, and very well written. Herman approaches a delicate subject with her tongue firmly lodged in her cheek, never afraid to poke fun of her royal subjects. She treats everyone equally, speaking just as frankly about the ridiculous relationships of Catherine the Great and Lady Di as she does the failings and foibles of the oft-cuckolded kings. I lea...more
Rachel
I am so glad that this book, unlike Sex with Kings: 500 Years of Adultery, Power, Rivalry, and Revenge, was actually structured! Each queen was given her own chapter, and they were in order chronologically, whereas the other book felt like one long introduction that led to nowhere.

There's something about the way Herman writes that rubs me the wrong way occasionally. Some things she'll say come across as unnecessarily judgmental, at least for a text that is trying to be academic. But despite its...more
Linda
I don't usually read non-fiction but my book group picked this book and I'm the leader so I forced myself through it.

The introduction was most interesting with the info about living in the courts and palaces. Shocking to find out what life was really like (men peeing in the hallways and bugs everywhere!)

The book itself was hard to get through. Some of the stories were more interesting than others but overall depressing. We all have the fantasy that being the Queen would be the best life but most...more
Marissa
This is a quick and fun read, less serious than most histories but it's supposed to be like that. I read this book as part of a GR group and I must admit that my opinion is a little changed after I read some of their experiences. A few couldn't even bring themselves to finish the book because it just was not as captivating of the author's previous novel, Sex with the King.

As much as it pains me to admit, the sex lives of European queens just is NOT as fascinating as the sex lives of their husba...more
Kelly F.
"Princesses were raised to be devout, obedient, and faithful. When sent to meet their new husbands, they set off with every intention of retaining these vital qualities in their new lives. What happened over the years that made so many of them lose their religion, their obedience, and their fidelity?"


That is the first paragraph of Sex with the Queen, a book that travels through 900 years of adulterous relationships, and the heartbreaking stories of the queens other lovers. Starting with Eleanor...more
April
This book was more well-written than Sex With Kings. Hermann structures the book in chronological order with various anecdotes of different countries. I felt the queens were much more interesting than the kings. These women had to put up with incompotent, unloving men. Catherine The Great, was perhaps the most interesting, as she lead one of the most powerful nations and was, the most in touch with her sexuality out of all of the women described in the book. I wish Herman had spent more time on...more
Kelly A.

I think I have found a new favorite book. In the follow-up book to Sex with Kings, we get a whirlwind tale through 900 years of European royalty, all told through the eyes of the queen’s bedroom. From Eleanor of Aquitaine to Princess Diana, from England to France to Germany to Russia, we go into the secret lives of some of the most famous women in history.
This book isn’t only about the love lives of queens (though it’s hard to think otherwise with the huge red SEX on the cover and a bare butt)....more
Alessandra
The subject matter for this is already interesting, at least it is to me. Eleanor Herman steps into the role of royalty and has a manner of speaking in her writing as if she was there, which really aides in keeping the reader's attention. There are times when you could think you're reading a sexy romance novel; which you'll find yourself laughing considering that it's history you're engaged in rather than the imagination of a sex-starved middle-aged novelist living more for her cheese-infested...more
Michelle
It was incredibly interesting; I read it very quickly. The only issue I have is that (probably because she's trained as a reporter and not as a historian) she did a lot of conjecture. Granted, this is a "pop" history book, but still. She made a lot of conjecture and took a lot of liberties in her mental wanderings about the figures about which she wrote. Basically, for me, her prose got in the way of her information often enough that it was somewhat annoying. Good writing and good evidence will...more
Christina Ramos
This book was a seriously entertaining look at the love lives of queens, princesses, and other royal ladies. When marriages were arranged with politics and power in mind, most royal brides had no chance of falling in love with their betrothed. Indeed, many of their husbands might be insane, deformed, or retarded from such close guarding of the family bloodline, not to mention gay or involved with a mistress (or several) of their own. What's a girl to do? Must she live without love and only have...more
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9990
New York Times best-seller Eleanor Herman offers a rare combination of skills for a historian – her research is intensely scholarly, yet she writes the story in a colorful, witty manner.

“History is so fascinating that it never has to be presented in a boring way,” she explains. “These were flesh and blood people, just like you and me, facing war and plague, falling in love, living among splendid a...more
More about Eleanor Herman...
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