Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Napolean's Privates” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Napolean's Privates
 
by
Tony Perrottet
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Napolean's Privates

by
3.72  ·  Rating details ·  984 ratings  ·  145 reviews
When Tony Perrottet heard that Napoleon's "baguette" had been stolen by his disgruntled doctor a few days after the Emperor's death, he rushed out to New Jersey. Why? Because that's where an eccentric American collector who had purchased Napoleon's member at a Parisian auction now kept the actual relic in an old suitcase under his bed.

The story of Napoleon's privates trigg
...more
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published May 13th 2011 by MJF Books (first published January 1st 2008)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Napolean's Privates, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Napolean's Privates

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Melki
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melki by: Jim
Who would guess that a detached penis could be such a collector's item?

I wouldn't want one, but apparently, Napoleon, Rasputin, Tutankhamen and John Dillinger's wieners were once highly-sought-after souvenirs. (Owning all "Teaspoons of the 50 States" just isn't enough for some people, I guess.)

This book is crammed full of fun facts about many activities enjoyed by humans, including sex, drugs, entertainment and eating.

Read this and be the star-attraction (or biggest bore) at your next cocktail
...more
Jim
May 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Trivia enthusiasts
Recommended to Jim by: Jim
OK, I admit it...this type of book is my literary guilty pleasure. I know it isn't highbrow literature, but I still get a charge out of it. Mr Perrotet has gathered interesting historical tidbits from a number of sources to give us a sampling of the foibles and failings of some notable personages throughout history.

Oddly, I found little to laugh at here...Napoleon's tiny penis might be funny to some, but I find it sad that people find humor in a physical aberration over which one has no control
...more
Jim
Dec 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable read whether straight through or as a pickup during odd times. The short sections made the latter easy. It's quite a collection of sexual trivia over 2500 years & it piqued my curiosity about a lot of other history. It provided a lot of continuity to other historical books I've read & was very well documented.

It is very interesting how our sexual mores have changed & it gave great insight, without being the least offensive. For instance, there were several sections
...more
HeavyReader
Nov 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of gritty history
This book is excellent!

It's the equivalent of the sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll of history (especially the sex)! Students would enjoy studying history a whole lot more if this book were on the list of required reading.

All the better, the book is thoroughly researched, with sources listed for further reading.

I like that the book is divided into short chapters, making it easy to read just a little at a time. Also, the sources are given at the end of each chapter, so anyone wanting to study the topic
...more
Malcolm
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saw this in a thrift store. Its dust jacket lost to time, only the title was there to catch my eye. I drew it from its shelf. It had been lain sideways atop other books. Clearly other patrons had been intrigued and then abandoned the poor tome after an examination.

"Napoleon's Privates?" Subtle innuendo? A treatise on the common footsoldier of the early 19th century? Yet, I hoped against hoped the coquettish promises of the title were not mere insinuation.

I was richly rewarded.

A quick flip thr
...more
Pocki
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was checking out the bargain section of B&N with two friends and found this on the history shelf. Only the spine was showing, which only says "Napoleon's Privates". Being in a silly mood I laughed and pointed it out to my friends, thinking that it was a book about privates in Napoleon's army but you know… privates, teehee, we all have childish humor. One of my friends bent to pick it up, making me and the other friend both go "Noooo! Don't ruin the fun!" She still picked it up, chuckled an ...more
Stephanie
You should not read this book. It's an exploration of "sex, greed, wealth, and weird behavior through the ages," and it will probably shock and appall you unless you are far more worldly than I am which you probably are (I AM kind of a prude), but if you do read this and find it repulsive, don't blame me because, seriously, I just told you not to read it.

Having said that, I found this book fascinating. It turns out that a lot of historical figures were kind of...kinky. Weird. Eccentric. Gassy.
...more
Lolly's Library
What can I say? I'm a trivial sort of person and books such as this one appeal to me on many levels. I love history, but I also love delving into the parts of history not covered in your standard classroom environment. And, c'mon, everyone loves a bit of dirty gossip, especially if it's about a famous or infamous personage. Napoleon's Privates fits the bill in all these categories. What allows this to stand out from your average titillation compilation, though, is that at the end of each vignett ...more
Mel Vincent
Jul 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
The book is very entertaining and quite funny. The dialogue used in the book plus the information that it possesses gives the one-two punch that it needs to produce a hilarious effect. I was practically laughing while reading because the way the author penned the articles was pretty damn funny especially the part about Hitler's testicles and the condoms of the middle ages. This book opened my eyes to the side of history that I did not even know. And it made me realize that people weren't that di ...more
Libby
This is a thoroughly enjoyable ramble through historical bits and bobs. It is in no way comprehensive- it's a collection of essays, some of which cover the same material, about historical events/personages that the author finds amusing or unusual, many of which involve sex and/or Napoleon. Here you will find rumors substantiated, myths debunked, allegations of heterosexuality (shocking!), and a helpful chart to help you determine the most perverse of the Roman emperors. The first-person introduc ...more
Rachel
Feb 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How do I put this? This is a collection of historical anecdotes that you would never, ever find in a high school textbook. Because this is the seven deadly sins version of history. Not for children, but adults will find this exceedingly entertaining. (Well, I suppose many children would too, but let's not go there.) It deals with some of the juiciest stories in world history, both true and false, plus a lot of good stuff you've never heard of before. And no, it's not all sex; there's stuff about ...more
Delilah Marvelle
This is actually the second time I've actually read this awesome confection of naughty history delivered with wit and flare. Tony Perrottet is by far my favorite non-fiction author regarding the grittier side of history (sex!). The amount of research done and the delivery and style is like sitting down with a big box of chocolates as opposed to a bloody steak (given the subject...). It's worth every page!!!
Meredith Watkins
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this a wonderfully written take on the obscure, tantalizing tales of history. Quite an enjoyable and lighthearted book for curiosity seekers of tales never taught in history class. I loved it and laughed and will read it again. Great conversation starters! :-)
Michael
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is so much in this book I want to share but how to do so without seeming to be focused on sex. An interesting read!
Sue
Sep 11, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was so much misc. trivia here that the Napoleon stuff (sprinkled here and there, from beginning to end) became boring.
Jo
Jul 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All the 'interesting' bits of history usually left out by the academics. Mostly it's one long sniggerfest about body parts and functions but there are some intriguing tales. A quick fun read.
Phillip Guillory
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I picked up this book probably 8 years ago on a whim after listening to the author being interviewed on a short-lived podcast called the Bryan Park Project. I loved the idea of the book, though for whatever reason (I'll blame grad school) I didn't get around to reading it til now.

This book was a mixed bag for me. I really enjoyed the history itself, but the writing left a lot to be desired. It felt like quick jabs and "wit" were more important to the author than exploring topics more earnestly.
...more
Anne
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this was an amusing, tidbit-filled book, I admit that all tidbit and no context means I've forgotten 95% (nope, make that 96%) of it already. For me, when I slog through an entire book on a topic (boring or otherwise), I'm able to regurgitate the salacious (or non-salacious but nonetheless interesting) bits because I have something to hang my tidbits on (my evidence is that stupid metageography book that I can only read one page at a time - I think I blathered on about that for five whole ...more
George Stenger
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A jaunty walk on the wild side (two thousand years or more) of the peccadilloes and other weird, lesser known legends and facts of some major historical figures, from Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, to Hitler, and the first G-man, J.Edgar Hoover. Tony Perrottet's historical vignettes include multiple chapters on that fighting Corsican and his fascinating private life. We discover that the Little Corporal, Napoleon Bonaparte, may have been credited for his name sake Complex not necessarily for hi ...more
Dana Delamar
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun read with many juicy bits about history. I would have liked something a bit more in-depth, but it's clear Perrottet means only to give the highlights and provides sources for more reading.

I also found some YouTube videos Perrottet did about some of his research, and those were quite fun to watch. This subject would make a good TV show.
Kent
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun must read for following definitely human nature at it's worst!

Fun, fun read about human nature! Going way back in history about human sexuality! The Romans and before seemed to follow in the perverted foot steps of everyone else with no change coming to date!
Sjors
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Picked up to serve as a guilty pleasure, and it did. While a smooth read, there were very few things that I hadn’t heard at least an abbreviated anecdote about. So in the final analysis, not worth it. I suppose that is what you get if you review a guilty pleasure...
Megan
Very witty and well written. Sometimes meanders a little without making a point, but los of interesting background info. My one complaint was I wish there had been some organization to the chapters. Maybe put in chronological order or grouped by topic, rather than jumping around all over the place.
Greg E. Sedbrook
A very entertaining read

I didnt want to put this one down. Very enjoyable, fun read. Highly recommend this one. A must read. A+++++
Mary
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious and informative!
Cynthia
I enjoyed this. I am not as obsessed with sex as the authors seem to think I am, but it was a light, fun read, and I did learn some things I did not know before.
Summer
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terrific and funny historical trivia
Rich Tyrrell
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick entertaining reading

I enjoyed this fun little collection of facts and stories. With my short attention span, I found this a nice easy read.
Alka
Mar 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was interesting enough to merit 3 stars, but it's unlikely one that I'll return to, to read in full, at some point in the future, and I'm not even sure I'll keep it on my bookshelf (it was a present to me, from my husband, who chose it from a long list of options).

I found it to be excellent "bathroom reading." You know what I mean. It's the kind of book that has short and semi-interesting chapters that are perfect for a quick (or longer) trip to the restroom.

The thing is, I want to g
...more
Anna
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rather disjointed

The book was well researched and Perrottet cited his sources at the end of each chapter but it was disjointed and seemed cut and paste. There was interesting facts on sex practices among the historic personalities, medical ailments, and food customs it was all over the place. Napoleon's postmodern severed penis just wasn't enough to bring it all together.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Treasury of Foolishly Forgotten Americans: Pirates, Skinflints, Patriots, and Other Colorful Characters Stuck in the Footnotes of History
  • Flushed: How the Plumber Saved Civilization
  • 5 People Who Died During Sex: and 100 Other Terribly Tasteless Lists
  • Royal Affairs: A Lusty Romp Through the Extramarital Adventures That Rocked the British Monarchy
  • Sex with the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics
  • Mental Floss: Scatterbrained
  • Doomed Queens
  • You Did What?: Mad Plans and Great Historical Disasters
  • The Greatest Music Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from Music History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy
  • 4,000 Years of Uppity Women: Rebellious Belles, Daring Dames, and Headstrong Heroines Through the Ages
  • This Will Kill You: A Guide to the Ways in Which We Go
  • The Intimate Sex Lives of Famous People
  • Scared Sh*tless: 1,003 Facts That Will Scare the Sh*t Out of You
  • A World of Curiosities: Surprising, Interesting, and Downright Unbelievable Facts from Every Nation on the Planet
  • The Death of Kings: A Medical History of the Kings and Queens of England
  • Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910
  • The Best Book of Useless Information Ever: A Few Thousand Other Things You Probably Don't Need to Know (But Might as Well Find Out)
  • mental_floss: The Book: The Greatest Lists in the History of Listory
“Whenever someone implies that history is boring, I bring up Napoleon's penis.” 1 likes
More quotes…