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Royal Affairs: A Lusty Romp Through the Extramarital Adventures That Rocked the British Monarchy
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Royal Affairs: A Lusty Romp Through the Extramarital Adventures That Rocked the British Monarchy

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  460 ratings  ·  68 reviews
A funny, raucous, and delightfully dirty history of 1,000 years of bedroom-hopping secrets and scandals of Britain's royals.
Insatiable kings, lecherous queens, kissing cousins, and wanton consorts-history has never been so much fun.
Royal unions have always been the stuff of scintillating gossip, from the passionate Plantagenets to Henry VIII's alarming head count of wive
ebook, 464 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by New American Library
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I like pervy history but this was poorly written & quite frankly, a bit convoluted. I guess that's what happens when a pulp romance writer tries her hand at non-fiction. Crappy editing too. Every time I saw the possessive of "Jones'" written as "Jones's", I got more an more pissed. And it happened quite a bit. Only gets 2 stars b/c of subject matter.
This is trashy history at its finest. I am pleasantly surprised to find Carroll's history is good--she admits when facts are unclear, and reminds readers of possible bias from sources. She's aware of the newer theories about each figure as well.
That said. This is still trashy trashy trashy, the "chick-lit" version of actual scholarship.
In Royal Affairs, author Leslie Carroll, chronicles the many scandalous infidelities of the English Monarchs. From Henry II in the 12th century to the current heir to the throne, Prince Charles, Royal Affairs is an entertaining excursion through the lives of our favorite salacious sovereigns!

Due to the fact that royal marriages were for solidifying political alliances between countries and strengthening royal families and NOT designed with love in mind, there comes the unfortunate by-product of
Let's start with my biggest complaint in this book...She repeatedly refered to happy relationshis or not so happy as "True Love" and yes...she capitalized. True and Love. REPEATEDLY. That's just freakin' annoying. But what can you expect from a romance author. Seriously, she's a romance author.

She also referred to at least TWO couples as the "[time period] equivalent of Mutt and Jeff." Now I love Mutt and Jeff, but is there any other analogy you could use?

It was a fun read, but again no adequate
This was highly readable, even entertaining, and high informative about the COST of royal affairs, especially monetarily. Having a royal mistress was quite expensive in terms of annuities, properties, etc--but probably justified by women who knew they would soon be discarded. So many of these affairs were "purchased" with monetary amounts settled before the woman succumbed; obviously money can buy love, at least for a little while. Also, I was especially amazed at the extent of debt acquired by ...more
Steve lovell
For the last week or so I've been up to my armpits in mistresses and been taken on most enjoyable rides. They were spread over three books, I hasten to add. Please excuse the excruciating puns – I should be ashamed of myself!

In two of the tomes the authors have dumbed down history to give rollicking accounts of various notorious tumblerers in the hay and the havoc they caused. These ranged from some very savvy gold-diggers to others as ditzy and thick as the proverbial. Some even found love with
Linda Bridges
This is delightful, gossipy book about some of the royals who lacked a fidelity gene. It covers the obvious (Henry VIII, Charles II) but also some of the lesser known rulers as well. It is never salacious but is vastly entertaining, and the little biographical sections give quite a bit of history in small doses. I found it interesting how the mores changed over time and what was acceptable in one age was anything but in another. In many respects, I understood a particular ruler's desire to find ...more
Not a deep read by any stretch, but a fun, insightful look at the how history is often shaped by selfish impulses. It gives a quick glimpse into the personal lives of many of Britain's monarchs. I enjoyed it.
Heather Domin
Snarky, sassy, trashy fun. It might not be high academia, but it sure was entertaining. Good times.
I felt that this particular book was far too similar to Eleanor Herman's books "Sex with Kings" and "Sex with the Queen".

I realize that Carroll focused on the British monarchy but the affairs she covers are largely the same as the ones in Herman's earlier published books.

Carroll's section on Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and Camilla Parker Bowles read very similarly to what Herman wrote.

Carroll cites both of Herman's books on royal affairs in her bibliography.

I am not suggesting plagiarism, b
Rory M.
Apr 18, 2009 Rory M. rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: voyeurs of the royal family
Shelves: non-fiction
Royals Affairs was a pleasant surprise! As part of the Spring Challenge for The Next Best Book Club I had to read a book on the British Monarchy that was over 400 pages long. I went to my local Barnes & Noble, located the British Monarchy section (that I had never visited before) and pull all the 400+ books off the shelf. I then found a comfy chair & read the first page of every book to see which one I could actually deal with. Royal Affairs won out and in about 2 days I had half of the ...more
Jean Marie
My favorite thing to study as a history major is the interpersonal relationships between people of power, my favorite of the favorite are the romantic liaisons. So the concept of royal mistresses is very dear to me as an academic, that makes this book very interesting and very fun. But it really is. Carroll writes in a "modern" non-academic way that makes it very easy to read but maintains the legitimate quality of the information even if her turns of phrases wouldn't be the top choice for a dis ...more
If you have read her royal marriages book a lot of that is rehashed here as a preview of the marriage which then goes into the extramarital affairs. Still I enjoyed it. I just skipped over those parts and read the affairs part. If you like reading about the royals of past and present you will find something in there to capture your interest
While this book is certainly interesting, I would probably be more likely to recommend Michael Farquhar's "A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors." As its title suggests, Farquhar's book deals with historical figures from a multitude of countries, rather than just Great Britain, and it includes prominent people who were not part of a monarchy. Nevertheless, it covers enough of the same materi ...more
An addictive and decadent journey told through the affairs of monarchs. Starting with the early mediaeval period and working it's way until the present, this books titillating contents become quite eye opening. With secret bisexuals and hinted gay rulers thrown in, this is not only informative but also extremely entertaining.

My only criticism of this would be the slight slang language it sometimes fell into 'he literally beat the crap out of him' - sentences like this need to be reworded. Consi
This was a fun, light read. The subject, adultery, isn't exactly the funnest i the world, but somehow Carroll made it fun and light. She had a way of pointing out the hypocrasy and the irony in these cases. There was, however, one problem with this book, a historical problem. During the entry of Anne Boleyn Carroll writes: "George (now Viscount Rochford, after the death of their father)". What Carroll obviously isn't aware of is that George dies 3 years before his father, so this is a bit of a m ...more
Okay...I'm a bit hesitant to admit I skimmed this book, but I'm recording each and every book I read...

A month or so ago I was listening to a podcast on the royal families of Europe, and it was mentioned that this book did a good job of explaining succession and who was related to who in regards to the British Monarchy. That it did--Which is what I was looking for. As for the bonus knowledge? Well, I'm now up on who had affairs with whom! For the record, let's just say I think life would have be
This is basically a trashy tabloid with a historical bent, and as someone with a historical bent who loves trashy tabloids, I was in heaven reading this book. The king who took his wife's ex-husband's 16 year-old daughter as a ward, engaged her to his son, and then promptly started having a hot and steamy affair! The queen who fell in love with her (heterosexual) lady-in-waiting and maneuvered her into a decades-long sexual affair! Oooh, scandals galore. The book was everything I had hoped for, ...more
This serves as a decent introduction to the social history of British monarchy but I did not agree with the author on her interpretations of the actions or choices of some of the historical figures. I also noticed a factual error with Frances Apsley's birth year.

The author is good at connecting with a modern audience - the writing style is easy to read with modern references/examples and a tongue-in-cheek humor. But it's not very comprehensive or scholarly. A fun read but not academic.
Carroll covers much of the same ground that she covered in Notorious Royal Marriages, and since this book predates that one, I guess she covered it here first.

She also starts way too many sentences with the word AND. Really.

Additionally, I found it strange that Ives biograpny of Anne Bolyen wasn't listed in the biblography.

Still, a nice trashy, at times funny, read.
H. P. Reed
"Lusty Romp", indeed! While the book was full of fun facts for the uninitiated (into the affairs of the many kings and queens of England) it shed little new light on some of the questionable history that's been written about them. Perhaps, though, this book is really meant for someone coming to the personal histories of royalty for the first time. In that case, it has just enough historical titillation to get the reader to delve further. It's fairly well written.

Not too much I hadn't read before, as these sorts of 'non-fiction' history books are my guilty pleasure. Still interesting and very entertaining. Easy to read and good basic background information about each monarch, so I'd recommend it to friends who aren't necessarily history buffs, although those with more than a passing interest will probably want more substantial information and less trivial fluff. A good fun read.
Nicole Yovanoff
I really enjoyed Leslie Carroll's series on royal relationships. I really enjoyed how there was a bit of perspective of the mistress and what happened to her after the relationship ended. People may see this aspect of royal life to be too tabloid to matter, but often these men and women of power were influenced by their private lives..... if they didn't, there there would be no Church of England. I really enjoyed the book.
I really like reading these kinds of books and this one is no exception. I like that Carroll can admit when she doesn't know something or that it is just spectulation. I think that's important when it comes to history in general. But the book itself is very well structured and I loved the connection throughout history as well as the final line about Mistresses: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Literary  Chanteuse
Read an affair a day and on most days one just wasn't enough. Loved this book!!
Lynne Flake
This was a witty, enjoyable "romp" through many of the extra-marital affairs of the British royal families. I knew about all the included stories, but the lighthearted discussions of the peccadilloes and stupidities of these people are what made the book interesting. She also mentions how the affairs affected history and the descendants of the unions. Well-recommended for light reading.
Recommended by a library patron this was an extremely interesting book about British monarchial infidelity from the medieval Angevin dynasty through the Plantagenets, Hanoverians, Saxe-Cothburgs to the present Windsor family. What really made this book interesting was that this novel describes how these relationships impacted the decisions that were made and how the effects are still felt today.
Ugh. History lite, but I knew that going into it and that's what I was in the mood for. Just too much of a National Enquirer feel, with stuff of questionable accuracy (e.g. unproven gossip given as fact and bibliography but not footnotes to back the facts), especially if you already know some of the stories. Eleanor Herman's similar sort of thing more enjoyable IMO.
Fun. Fluffy. Occasionally painfully awkward in terms of writing or gender stereotypes. Occasionally surprisingly insightful or sympathetic in its portrayal of historical figures. Not something you want to use as a source for a research paper, but overall, an entertaining way to give your brain a break and brush up on your British history at the same time.
If you love a good, light history book to read that's not heavy on the details, then this is for you. It was really easy to read, light and funny. My only issue with it is that there wasn't enough detail for one of the affairs because the king that they were talking about had many more mistresses than just the few they put in. But that's much of a muchness really
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I used to tell people that I was born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx; but the truth is that apart from the stellar education I received at the Fieldston School in Riverdale, much of who I am was shaped by my two grandmothers, who encouraged me to follow my bliss long before it became the sort of catchphrase you find on tee-shirts and new-age tchotchkes. My East Side grandmother took me to FA ...more
More about Leslie Carroll...
Notorious Royal Marriages: A Juicy Journey Through Nine Centuries of Dynasty, Destiny, and Desire Royal Pains: A Rogues' Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad Seeds Royal Romances: Titillating Tales of Passion and Power in the Palaces of Europe Herself Play Dates

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