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The Kings & Queens of Europe from Medieval Tyrants to Mad Monarchs (A Dark History)
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The Kings & Queens of Europe from Medieval Tyrants to Mad Monarchs (A Dark History Series)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  176 ratings  ·  23 reviews

Beneath the splendor and sophistication of the monarchies of continental Europe are tales of scandal, mystery, and skullduggery. A Dark History: The Kings & Queens of Europe peels away the glitz to take a wry look at what really happened in the corridors, bedrooms, and dungeons of European power, from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Spanning the whole of mainland co

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published December 31st 2008 by Metro Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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I appreciated that the author delved into lesser-known royal history instead of rehashing the usual Henry VIII/Bloody Mary/Vlad Dracul stories one encounters over and over in similar books. (Though Vlad is mentioned in one chapter.)

However, the book has problems. First and foremost, it's poorly edited. There are copy errors on nearly every page. The layout is odd and haphazard. It's not an easy read in that regard.

Also--and this is more opinion than anything else--the title overstates the nature
3.5 Stars

First things first, I really enjoyed this book. It was fairly well written and it could be rather entertaining at points.

I was impressed by the authors ability to incorporate such a vast time frame into what I'd call a fairly concise chunk of literature.

The individual family trees strategically placed helped to put together all the events in logical order and the many pictures helped me retain the information.

A little bit of reiteration would have been helpful just because sometimes it
Thomas Utomo
Kisah-Kisah Gelap dari Monarki-Monarki Eropa

Judul : Sejarah Gelap Para Raja dan Ratu Eropa
Penulis : Brenda Ralph Lewis
Penerbit: Elex Media Komputindo
Cetakan : Pertama, 2013
Tebal : 252 halaman
ISBN : 978-602-02-1963-9
Harga : Rp98.800,00

Jas merah; jangan sekali-kali melupakan sejarah! Demikian ungkapan Bung Karno yang sangat terkenal. Memang sepatutnya sejarah tidak boleh dilupakan, karena sejarah bisa dijadikan cermin dari kehidupan masa lalu. Bila sejarah itu baik, maka dapat dilanjutkan atau ba
After reading this book, it becomes quickly apparent why Europe has fostered both World Wars...their historic leaders just haven't been all there, so to speak. The oven was on, but the bread wasn't cooking. If you want to get a neat summary of some of the worst European royal personalities, then this is an excellent book to make your start.

There's Don Carlos of Spain, one of the insane and deformed Hapsburg nutballs, who loved torturing animals and little girls. His own father had him killed, w
I already knew most of the information presented in this book. Provides an adequate introduction into the less discussed aspects of European history.
Nice pictures, breezily written and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny. The "Dark History" part really only applies to a couple of those profiled (and Elisabeth Bathory, dark though she undoubtedly was, was not royalty), but man oh man, there have been some nutburgers in control of history upon occasion. The Windsors emerge as better than average when it comes to the smarts department (which gives you an idea of how low the bar is), and the Spanish royal family carries of the prize for longest su ...more
Mikenzee Frazier
Dark History of the Kings and Queens of Europe is a book about the crazy monarchs in Europe's history. In this book you learn all about the mental and physical deformities these monarchs carried. Most, if not all, of these deformities were due to inbreeding within the family. Most of these monarchs were mentally unstable.

I would definitely recommend this book to other readers. I found the concept of the book utterly fascinating. I really enjoyed the authors writing style due to the fact that it
Sarah Jowett
Very well researched but it left out "Bloody Mary", I guess that one and more are in The Kings and Queens of England.

Unfortunately, this is for a European audience and some of the details that would help us across the pond are left out, mostly having to do with words and processes as well as titles and all that.

But still a great book.
Interesting subject and an easy read, but not totally reliable. The author presented many stories as facts when in reality they are based on speculation and gossip. Additionally, I didn't like the random insertion of stories about related family members. They seemed haphazardly placed and were often inserted mid sentence.
Dave Sippel
Just to give an idea of the "depth" of information in this book, it is shorter than 300 pages and covers about 700 years of history. It loves sensationalism and scandal but it is an entertaining read. The artwork and pictures are very interesting to look at.
Boyke Rahardian
What do you call decades / centuries old royal scandals? Yup: history. Amazingly it is not as different as we'd like to think with high profile gossips in tabloid columns. Which remind us that people has enjoyed schadenfreude since...forever?
Wow. These folks were nuts. I'll give the benefit of the doubt to those who drank exclusively from lead cups but the rest were certifiably nuts.

Very cool read though. Makes one appreciate the age in which we live, be that as it may.
This is a wonderful starting point, for anyone wanting to dive into the mess of European Monarchs. It's incredibly brief, however provides enough information to spark areas of research or historical curiosity.
Peter Ward
This is a nice starting place for those of us who don't have any formal background in European history. Short and readable, I have a frame of reference to work with from now on.
Jennifer Daniel
Nov 22, 2008 Jennifer Daniel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sharon & the boy
Shelves: non-fiction
What a bunch of freaks! That Carlos of Spain was especially disturbing. Loved it! And of course my man Vlad Tepis is always my favorite blood crazy Royalty.
I like to learn about the nobility and in the description of book it had the word "skulduggery". I love some good skulduggery! lol
This is a good book to read one section at a time. I read it at breakfast after we concelled our newspaper. Interesting and fun facts.
Chase Parsley
A great book for its visuals, and some great stories, but to me the writing could have been better.
Marguerite Woodward
An interesting book that is full of a lot of facts about the Kings and Queens of Europe.
I really like this book. It is visually satisfying and very informative.
An interesting look into the lives of some scary royals.
Tina Mallett
Very interesting book. Royalty?! Hmmm kooks more like. Lol
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Brenda Ralph Lewis is a writer with over 200 books on history and numerous magazine articles and television documentaries to her name. Her fascination with Scottish history and culture began early in her career and she has since returned to the subject at every opportunity. She regards [her] book on tartans as a labor of love.
More about Brenda Ralph Lewis...

Other Books in the Series

A Dark History Series (8 books)
  • Dark History of the Tudors
  • A Dark History: Celts
  • A Dark History: Vikings
  • Dark History of the Roman Emperors: From Julius Caesar to the Fall of Rome
  • Dark History of The Bible
  • A Dark History: The Popes
  • Dark History of Hollywood: A Century of Greed, Corruption and Scandal behind the Movies (Dark Histories)
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