Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Doomed Queens: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends, From Cleopatra to Princess Di” as Want to Read:
Doomed Queens: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends, From Cleopatra to Princess Di
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Doomed Queens: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends, From Cleopatra to Princess Di

by
3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,610 Ratings  ·  212 Reviews
Illicit love, madness, betrayal—it isn't always good to be the queen.

Marie Antoinette, Anne Boleyn, and Mary, Queen of Scots. What did they have in common? For a while they were crowned in gold, cosseted in silk, and flattered by courtiers. But in the end, they spent long nights in dark prison towers and were marched to the scaffold where they surrendered their heads to th
...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published October 28th 2008 by Three Rivers Press (first published January 1st 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle MoranLily of the Nile by Stephanie DrayCleopatra VII by Kristiana GregoryMemoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret GeorgeCleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter
Books about Cleopatra
17th out of 52 books — 113 voters
Uppity Women of Medieval Times by Vicki LeónDoomed Queens by Kris WaldherrA Treasury of Foolishly Forgotten Americans by Michael FarquharUppity Women of the Renaissance by Vicki LeónThe Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody by Will Cuppy
Biographical Sketches
2nd out of 94 books — 21 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Melki
Feb 19, 2015 Melki rated it really liked it
Despite the perks of royalty, it's usually not good to be the queen.

And here are fifty examples of ladies who found that out the hard way!

First of all, this is a beautiful book. From the reapers decorating the endpapers to the sepia-toned print to the illustrations, many by the author, it's lovely to behold. And the flaps feature paper dolls - with removable heads! (Well, I guess technically, ALL paper dolls have removable heads... Man, I think I might have wasted my childhood!)

Throughout hist
...more
Wellington
Jan 24, 2009 Wellington rated it liked it
This fun little book detailing the lives - and more importantly deaths - of fifty queens. While the book does talk about Anne Boleyn and Maria Antoinette, you could also see some names almost swept away by history like Cleopatra's sister. Written with a wry sense of humor with multiple choice tests to quiz what the reader remembers and the odd anecdote here and there, this book can enchant the history buff.

Amanda [Novel Addiction]
Oct 01, 2015 Amanda [Novel Addiction] rated it really liked it
I don't even know how I found this. Probably browsing through the Goodreads recommendation section. But this was a great read. If you want an in depth historical account of each queen - look elsewhere, this has just enough information to get the point across and give the reader a good idea of what happened.

And for all those little girls who dreamed of being a princess? This is what could happen! Yikes.
GoldGato
Nov 11, 2014 GoldGato rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers obsessed with royals
When you play at being a peasant, you risk being killed by one.

This was a fun book! Along with the usual biographies and methods-of-death for these once supreme leading ladies, the reader can also cut out Doomed Queens paper dolls, answer quizzes, download backgrounds for the dolls, and discover what type of Doomed Queen you might be. This is as interactive as a p-book can get.

It's not as though I enjoy reading about royal damsels who lost their lives and/or kingdoms, but this is such a beautifu
...more
Lauren
Dec 07, 2009 Lauren rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: friends, family
Recommended to Lauren by: Kris Waldherr
Shelves: gossip-guide
Check out DOOMED QUEENS...

The holidays are approaching, soon the weather will cool down, and there will be nothing you want to do more than lay around in your best gown, your necks and fingers dripping with opulence as you sip exotic hot teas and cocoas. When you find this time for yourself this month you need to have a copy in-hand of Doomed Queens: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends, From Cleopatra to Princess Di .

It is the type of book that, as you approach those last pages you think, "oh my! How
...more
Chantal E. R. H.
Jan 01, 2012 Chantal E. R. H. rated it liked it
While I learned about some women I had never heard of before, I noticed some glaring inaccuracies in the chapters about some of the ones I had, most notably Queen Joan of Naples. The book was also a little too gimmicky and I'm not sure what age group it was intended for? I did like the author's drawings and the quotes she used from the Doomed Queens themselves. Some chapters were definitely better than others. The chapters on Cleopatra's sisters Berenice and Arsinoe being two of the better ones. ...more
Heather Domin
Jul 01, 2013 Heather Domin rated it it was amazing
I loved this. Short, snarky, punchy, irreverent, all those others adjectives - I'm sure plenty of people trash it for that, the ones who can't bear to have history taken from its sacred pedestal and made relatable and humorous and relevant to (gasp!) pop culture. Whatever. I disagreed with a few bits of trivia (like Mary Boleyn's kids being Henry's bastards), but the writer clearly states in the intro AND the notes that, when faced with conflicting evidence, she went for the more salacious versi ...more
LynnDee (The Library Lush)
This is my kind of history book! Short, to the point & full of fun info. Kris Waldherr also has a sassy writing style which I love. Similar to Michael Farquhar, who I also adore.
Caroline
We all know that when it comes to books that bring a bunch of interesting historical figures together in short, concise essays--there's not much deviation. You get a few interesting stories out of them and hopefully a little bit of accuracy. I can't say that Doomed Queens brings any new ground to the "genre". The familiar women like Marie Antoinette and Anne Boleyn get the same old treatment as the always do. Waldherr does bring a few lesser-known ladies--Thessalonike among them--to the forefron ...more
Sue Smith
Jan 05, 2012 Sue Smith rated it liked it
You've got to love a cover that show heads rolling! Sheesh!

Actually, it's a good indicator for the rest of the book - short and sweet blurbs about some of the queens that have met with a tragic end. Apparently there are a lot of them. And all met their demise in a variety of forms, usually era dependent.

This is more of a book of short facts - quick synopsis of the lives and times of some very fortunate - or unfortunate (depending on your outlook) - girls who got the opportunity to call themsel
...more
Heather
Nov 30, 2010 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Kris Waldherr’s book of “royal women who met bad ends” is a witty, fun look at the downside of being a female royal. I read the whole book in one sitting. This is a nice summary book of these 50 women. There are usually 2 pages devoted to each royal woman – and accordingly you don’t get an in-depth look at their lives – but you do get to know the important backstory that lead to their death. And their deaths are really what the whole book is about anyway.

This isn’t just a book for you to read, b
...more
Christina Sesok
I absolutely adore this book. It has quick wit and a gallows sense of humor. Waldherr seems to mock the fate of these doomed queens while also providing readers with the facts. She also has brief digressions in the margins where she explains various aspects of the stories she's telling, outlines a small family tree, etc.

One of the things I like the most about this book is how brief each section is. Waldherr usually spends no more than three pages on each "doomed queen," and that's with pictures
...more
Kara
Jan 28, 2009 Kara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history-royal
An irreverent, lively written book on why no little girl should actually want to grow up to be queen. Waldherr manages to dig up queens who met grizzly ends from the biblical-era to the 20th century. She covers the well known, like Marie Antoinette, to the virtually unknown, like Cleopatra’s sister. I was surprised how many queens were killed by their own sons. Talk about ungrateful!

She gives a sympathetic, if brief, portrait of each royal lady, often giving modern day parallels to get across to
...more
Kristin Vaskie
Jun 07, 2015 Kristin Vaskie rated it really liked it
All in all I thought this book was fantastic! I loved learning about queens I've never even heard about and enjoyed the portions about the well known ones. It is a pretty easy read and has no problem keeping your attention, I especially enjoyed the little chapter quizzes. I will say that some sections were too short and I wish the author would have written a little more about the queen she focused on and I may have seen one or two inaccuracies in there, but overall this was an excellent book tha ...more
Josiphine
Very interesting to read, though many of the pictures looked like a bad photoshop job (not the author's illustrations; those were lovely). It was fun reading about queens I'd never heard of before, but I didn't really like the way she portrayed the queens I did know about (namely Alexandra Romanov), so maybe ignorance is bliss. She also focused too often on the illicit (read: affairs) side of things for me. Though that frequently had a hand in these queens being doomed, she gave me more details ...more
Susan
(I had this marked for the wrong book: Doomed Queen Anne instead of Doomed Queens, so this review is just a correction.) Not as good as I was led to believe or expected, this book covers the deaths and events leading to the deaths of queens and other female royalty over the centuries. Each queen is given only a page or two, so the history is very superficial. In addition, the flippancy which is meant to be humorous just doesn't work. A bit of interesting trivia, but I don't recommend it.
Sarah
Jun 03, 2015 Sarah rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015-read
I read this book in one sitting while my hubby watched a movie I wasn't interested in. Even though I disliked it, at least it wasn't a huge time investment.

I'm confused as to who the target audience is supposed to be. Quite frankly, it reads like entry-level young adult book. A mature 12 year old would do well with it. Even taking that into account, I found the sentence structure to bounce between choppy and cumbersome; at times, the structure of the stories themselves suffered from disjointed c
...more
Emily Carroll
Dec 30, 2014 Emily Carroll rated it it was amazing
Shelves: royal-women
This book is very well researched and brings to light many forgotten or unknown Queens such as Amalasuntha and Oghul Ghaimish. There is not a particular time period or region that the book focuses on so you get a taste of many different cultures and atmospheres. It takes a morbid topic and adds humor, which is balanced with unique art and a cautionary morals for each Queen. Waldherr did a fantastic job grabbing and keeping my attention, as the book is not very long but its enough to feel like y ...more
Amanda
Aug 03, 2011 Amanda rated it it was ok
This is a great idea, but it would have actually been a reliable book if a majority of it wasn't based on "popular" history (generalizations and vague ideas that stem from historical propaganda instead of historical fact)and actually based off some truth. I suppose the drama with these quasi-historical skits are good to help someone learn some history in an entertaining way though.
Chris
Dec 31, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it
Although Waldherr plays a bit fast and loose with facts (Louis XVI followed his grandfather onto the throne, for instance, not his father), this is a fun, snarky, easy-reading romp through well known and obscure queens of history. Some of the graphic elements are a bit fuzzy, but generally speaking, this is exactly what it appears to be when you pick it up and flip through.
Kenya
Jan 18, 2014 Kenya added it
very quick read, quirky yet informative.
Eve
Mar 15, 2012 Eve rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Perfunctory, flippant and boring. With such great subject material, how could this have happened? The author barely scratched the surface of fifty queens/leaders from antiquity to the present day, and then buffed out the scrape with a feather. I got as far as Henry VIII’s wives and then quit. I want my time back.
Marisa
Dec 17, 2009 Marisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was short, sweet and to the point. I liked that because it gave me a few people that I wouldnt mind reading more about without me having to read anything that was boring. I really enjoyed the "cautionary morals" the author added at the end of each section.
Raven Rebecca
Apr 22, 2016 Raven Rebecca rated it it was ok
I read this book in one sitting while my hubby watched a movie I wasn't interested in. Even though I disliked it, at least it wasn't a huge time investment.

I'm confused as to who the target audience is supposed to be. Quite frankly, it reads like entry-level young adult book. A mature 12 year old would do well with it. Even taking that into account, I found the sentence structure to bounce between choppy and cumbersome; at times, the structure of the stories themselves suffered from disjointed c
...more
Mary
Oct 01, 2011 Mary rated it it was amazing
This book was pretty neat. It is beautifully illustrated, has family trees, good advice, quizzes, and more. If you want to make learning history fun, then go pick up this book. It is good to know about the world.
Nancy
Jan 31, 2011 Nancy rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2011-read
Finished this only because I had paid for it. I thought it would be a trashy good read, but it was only trashy. Superficial and unfunny, labored prose, and quizzes, for gack's sake! Awful.
Brittanie
A compendium of female royalty from ancient times all the way up until the ill-fated Diana Spencer. I liked how it was royalty from several continents and not just focusing on Europe, as many similar books do. Each entry seemed to be well-researched and had side notes that explained types of death or something referenced in the main text.
The design of the book was also what initially drew me but I was disappointed to find that many of the images inside were slightly pixelated (and obviously easi
...more
Lillie
Feb 24, 2013 Lillie rated it it was ok
Disappointed, thought I was going to be reading something a little more depth. It was interesting for what it was.
Ananya
Mar 02, 2015 Ananya rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Ananya by: Anne Boleyn
Kris Waldherr's book, where history meets humor, profiles around 50 royals who didn't quite meet a hunky dory end. The book follows them over a period when incest, killing your spouse, matricide and filicide seem to be in vogue: all for the lure of throne. While being doomed, either by fate or by their own deeds, was the common denominator, some of these women grabbed my attention more than the rest. Accordingly, I took notes:

Olympias (316 BCE) : Crazy queen part 1. Mother of Alexander the Grea
...more
Julia Brumfield
Aug 27, 2015 Julia Brumfield rated it really liked it
This is my second Kris Waldherr book after having read "Sacred Animals" first. The two books carry the same artistic element where in "Sacred Animals" you could find some of the animals in their elemental introduction mural while in this book (if there was a portrait picture of the Queen) you could find the skeleton somewhere within the artwork. That is one of the things I enjoyed with these books.

The other thing is that I found the author has a way of bringing history to life even if it isn't
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Notorious Royal Marriages: A Juicy Journey Through Nine Centuries of Dynasty, Destiny, and Desire
  • A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors
  • In Triumph's Wake: Royal Mothers, Tragic Daughters, and the Price They Paid for Glory
  • Royalty's Strangest Characters: Extraordinary But True Tales from 2,000 Years of Mad Monarchs and Raving Rulers (Strangest series)
  • Sex with the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics
  • Sovereign Ladies: The Six Reigning Queens of England
  • Mad Kings & Queens
  • Royal Babylon: The Alarming History of European Royalty
  • Uppity Women of Medieval Times
  • Royal Panoply: Brief Lives of the English Monarchs
  • Kings and Queens of England
  • She Wolves: The Notorious Queens of Medieval England
  • Queens Consort: England's Medieval Queens
  • Murder of a Medici Princess
  • The Ring and the Crown: A History of Royal Weddings 1066-2011
  • Queen, Empress, Concubine: Fifty Women Rulers from the Queen of Sheba to Catherine the Great
  • The Death of Kings: A Medical History of the Kings and Queens of England
132599
the short version:
Kris Waldherr is an author, illustrator, and designer whose art has been exhibited in the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She is the author of Doomed Queens, The Lover’s Path and The Book of Goddesses, and creator of The Goddess Tarot. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

the long version:
I'm the author, illustrator and designer of numerous books including Doomed Queens, The Lov
...more
More about Kris Waldherr...

Share This Book



“Her unusual dark hair and sultry eyes made her stand out--- Anne Boleyn was Tudor England's Angelina Jolie amid a sea of Reese Witherspoons.” 6 likes
“The Executioner shall not have much trouble, for I have a little neck. I shall be known as La Reine Sans Tete” 6 likes
More quotes…