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A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors
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A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  3,971 ratings  ·  325 reviews
From Nero's nagging mother (whom he found especially annoying after taking her as his lover) to Catherine's stable of studs (not of the equine variety), here is a wickedly delightful look at the most scandalous royal doings you never learned about in history class.

Gleeful, naughty, sometimes perverted-like so many of the crowned heads themselves-A Treasury of Royal
Paperback, 324 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 2001)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  3,971 ratings  ·  325 reviews

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Start your review of A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors
Heidi The Reader
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Michael Farquhar takes readers through different time periods and countries to remember some of the most scandalous royal persons who have ever lived.

All of the stories showcase the rich assortment of scandals that once flourished across Europe. And, thanks to the generations of royals who unwittingly created them, they remain immensely entertaining. pg 11, ebook.

There is a rich assortment indeed. Almost any kind of depravity can be found in these pages. But the most shocking of the lot, in my
Jan 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Man, I loved this book when I found it. I was like.. 14 or so. And of course, most of these scandals are about sex, gays and drinking. I thought they were the most scandalous things I'd ever heard. I brought these stories to my history teachers to impress them. Some of them let me tell stories from it to enliven a boring class about whatever historical figure we happened to be talking about that day... a significantly edited story that took out most of the good stuff, but nonetheless.

To sum up this book quickly: it's good potty reading. In the forward Farquhar explains that he avoids the entire 20th century (with the exception of a few stories about Wallis Simpson). He basically points out that the "scandals" of the 20th century are nothing compared to let's say ordering a small cache of boys to swim naked with you, so they can nip at the treat between your legs. Marrying a divorcee just seems milquetoast in comparison.

Anyhow, it was an enjoyable read. Sad at times,
Jan 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2000s
I read this one years ago, in just about the perfect setting for reading anything: while riding trains in Scotland. Well, I guess some of it was on planes, and probably some in hotels and hostels. Anyway, I can't separate the book completely with the fact that it was one of the two books I read while in Scotland. (The other one was a Wheel of Time book.)

This was the most entertaining book of history I've ever read, full of bizarre and fascinating stories about royalty that really go to show why
LynnDee (LynnDee's Library)
I just really love Farquhar's writing style. It's very chatty and informal, which I think makes learning history so much easier. A lot of the stories I have heard and/or read about before, but it never hurts to have a history refresher because history is fucking bonkers.
This is a quick dip through centuries of Royal scandal. The author skips over most of the 20th century so don't go looking for Princesses Grace, Margaret, or the former Duchess of York in these pages. You are invited along to climb in the mud with Roman Emperors, Popes, French royalty, plenty of British monarchs and other notable European rulers.

The tone of the book is chatty and catty. It is one of those books where one can dip in and out.
Dec 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
What an intriguing read this turned out to be. Sometime last year while I was going to college I skipped a day (one of many days when I skipped) and I went to Goodwill on a Friday for their weekly 50% off sale to see if I could score any good reads and I found this one on the top shelf.

Unfortunately I'm still trying to figure out why it took me over a year to read it, I mean I love the cover, the title and the summary both hold promises of a delightful read but no. I picked it up many times with
Feb 06, 2009 rated it liked it
I enjoyed thumbing through this. My undergraduate degree (the first one, before I back to school to go into health care) was in history. I was bitten by the history bug thanks to authors like Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert (who you may also know as Jean Plaidy, Victoria Holt and Phillipa Carr) and a marvelous history teacher named Martha Morgan my junior year of high school. She used to lean back against her desk, close her eyes, and tell us stories (some of which appear in this book) about ...more
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-general
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Catherine Wetzel
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great reading of sorted past of royals throughout history, along with popes. On started I could not put it down
Lori Berrios
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Great history with reigns and dates.
Jul 20, 2019 rated it liked it
The part on Rome and Popes was interesting as were a few other bits but everything else felt repetitive and didnt feel like anything new. Plus almost everyone had the same name so it was a little hard keeping up since I listened to the audio. ...more
Lacey Estrada
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting. Lots of gossip
Paul Pessolano
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
A Treasury of Royal Scandals, The Shocking True Stories of Historys Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors by Michael Farquhar, published by Penguin Books.

Category History/Scandals Publication Date May 01, 2001

If one is looking for some history that is part comedy, part tragedy, and part stupid this book will fit any and all of those categories. Most of these stories you definitely did not study in high school and probably not in college. These true stories
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
If you're a fan or student of history with any former knowledge of the subject as it pertains to the world's royal ruling classes, this book will not teach you much beyond what you already know. Farquhar's book provides snippets of information and nothing more (some chapters are literally a few paragraphs in length). At times, Farquhar writing style has him sounding like a court gossip, even when he's accurate about the facts he's portraying. At other times, sections come across as overly ...more
Mar 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, royalty
I read similar books by Leslie Carroll: "Royal Affairs" and "Notorious Royal Marriages" so I'll compare them. Carroll seems to dedicate a bit more time to each individual so there is more of a "get to know you" feel. Farquhar tends to split up certain information about the same royal (for example, George IV's obesity was discussed in a completely different chapter to that of his marriage). As a result, it can be difficult to get the full picture of the individual if you're not good with names. ...more
Jen Warren
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
If History class had been this entertaining, I wouldn't have avoided the subject throughout my academic career.

A Treasury of Royal Scandals reads like an historical tabloid magazine. Which queen had six fingers on one hand? Which Emperor castrated a young boy in order to marry him? Which Pope ordered the annihilation of an entire city?

Broken into sections with several small, individual tales, it was at first tempting to read this as I would a reference book: by skimming the table of contents,
Apr 11, 2010 rated it liked it
While there are some really interesting bits in this book, one particular section leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth: The Roman emperors. Sure it's titillating to read about how Tiberius kept young boys stocked by his pool for unusual purposes, or how Nero liked to dress up as an animal to 'attack' his lovers, but it's not accurate. Farquhar's source for these is Suetonius, who I must liken to the Daily Mail or National Enquirer of the ancient world. He wrote and sold scandal, hundreds of ...more
Feb 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
the first three quarters of the book, gossips about treachery, envy, out of control sex, and treasons. Ah, and some History of european kings, queens, dukes, etc. The last quarter, hard to read, is about the bloody roman emperors and christian popes, that is too much violence, guys greedy for power, and more violence, plus some pages with the violence of the french revolution and the russians killing the Romanovs.

This is a very disorganized book, mixing facts of one period and jumping to
Kristin Vaskie
Sep 16, 2014 rated it liked it
There are some very interesting histories in this book, but I do feel like it is aimed more towards high school students than real lovers of historical volumes. The chapters are easy to read and some of them seem a little too short and don't give the reader a full understanding of whom the chapter is focused on. I also could have done without the pope section, there were a few good tidbits here and there but mostly forgettable. I did enjoy the book, though, it had good stories about several ...more
Dec 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're a history buff (like me) there's not a lot in this book that you will find new and intriguing. Nevertheless, it's a quick look at all sorts of royal nonsense and depravities if you are in that kind of mood. There were a few stories that I wasn't particularly familiar with and this book has me interested in knowing more. In my mind, a book that piques your interest and inspires additional research is always worth reading.

Keep in mind that this is NOT written in the style and jargon of
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you ever wanted to read about scandals about royalty and even some Popes...this is definitely an amusing read.

Some tales that are told are well known, others, not quite so well known. I personally love the story of Joanna the Mad and her obsession with her husband. If you want something to not get bogged down in and give you some laughs or head shaking, this is definitely up your alley!
Amanda pepos
Apr 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
i really enjoyed this one. its chalkfull of crazy stories about the royalty of the world, some of it very sad however. a bit confusing if you dont understand say the english line to the throne, but thouroughly enjoyable, i would read it again.
Sep 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: History Lovers that want the coldd, hard truth
Some want to believe the world has become a more dangerous and less moral place. This book proves my point that humans have always had a dark, corrupt, and sometimes cruel side. The powerful and/or wealth ones are more watched and recorded than those without.
I like weird trivia about everything, particular royals.
Nov 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
Don't even bother to read this book if you've read ANY history or seen any historical movies involving any historical figures. It is just plain boring.
Dawn Wells
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. Great to read that Royals had crazy, weird and not so perfect lives.
Dec 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Very interesting. It's a great book to pick-up for short periods. The best non-fiction read I've in a long time. Entertaining.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Disorganised, inaccurate and not particularly well written. I found it very disappointing and gave up.
May 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I loved this. Great bathroom reading.
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Michael Farquhar, a former writer and editor at The Washington Post, is the bestselling author of numerous books, including the critically acclaimed Behind the Palace Doors and Secret Lives of the Tsars, as well as the popular Penguin "Treasury" series: A Treasury of Royal Scandals, A Treasury of Great American Scandals, A Treasury of Deception, and A Treasury of Foolishly Forgotten Americans. He ...more

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