Christina Ramos's Reviews > Sex with the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics

Sex with the Queen by Eleanor Herman
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's review
Jun 05, 11

really liked it
Read from May 31 to June 03, 2011

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 sex with her horrible husband for the sake of producing an heir to the throne? Or will she risk scandal (and worse) and take on a lover (or several) of her own? The answer, almost invariably, was the latter.
But this book is not all perfume and scintillating lines from love letters. There is a lot of disembowelment and beheading, wicked stepmothers and others behind the scenes waiting for their chance to destroy lives and make power grabs, not to mention insanity and just plain weirdness. How about the 17-year-old king who was covered from head to toe in herpes lesions (which his doctors proclaimed to be a sign of "rude good health") who insisted on taking dumps in his chamberpot with an audience (whom he wished to smell and examine his leavings)? And we learn of Gregory Potemkin, one of Catherine the Great's lovers, who took on many other younger lovers in his later years and would ring a bell when he was about to ejaculate so that one of his men outside would fire a cannon. The last chapter focuses on the many lovers of Princess Di, and how she drove them all away by calling them 20, 30, 40 times a day, wanting them to put her above all else, including careers, wives, and children.
Any way it was really fascinating and I highly suggest it.

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